The Colors of Emotion
Susanne Scheppmann

"This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything." 1 John 3:19-20 (NIV)

My feelings scoot across the emotion spectrum. Some days are happy days. Other mornings I don't want to crawl out of bed—I just want to wallow in misery and depression. I sigh and say to my husband, "I have the blues today."

I guess you could say I am a "colorful" person. Maybe you are too. Have you ever found yourself saying something like …

• I am feeling blue today.
• I am so angry; I'm seeing red.
• I am green with envy.
• I am in black despair.

Often our emotions are not based on reality, but on a temporary perception of reality. The prophet Jeremiah wrote, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9, NIV). I don't always understand why I feel the way I do. My moods could result from weariness, hormones, or an unexpected surprise.

Fortunately, although our hearts are deceitful and trick us into colorful emotions, God is bigger and stronger than our weak hearts. Our key verse states, "This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything (1 John 3:19-20, NIV; emphasis added). This makes me shout aloud, "Hallelujah!"

We still hold some responsibility, however, for our thoughts and emotions. Proverbs 4:23 instructs, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (NIV)." How do we do this? We should take care about the books, movies and television that we allow to influence our thoughts. Listening to gossip, rumors and discontent from friends can certainly stir up negative feelings as well.

Instead of infusing ourselves with emotional junk food, we need to nourish our minds with godly influences. For example, read the Bible, chat with godly friends, or listen to praise music. The more joyful and contentment-filled influences we filter our thoughts through each day, the more we'll experience a positive emotional state—in fact, we'll be tickled pink!

Dear Lord, grant me the ability to recognize my emotions are not always truth. I thank You that You are bigger and stronger than my deceitful heart. Teach me how to be most effective in guarding my heart from fickle emotions. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Susanne’s blog

Divine Prayers for Despairing Parents by Susanne Scheppmann

The S.O.S for PMS: Practical Help and Relief for Moms by Mary M. Byers

30 Days to Taming Your Stress by Deborah Smith Pegues

Here are a few tips for A New Year, A Better You

Application Steps:
Memorize the following passages to help you gain control over colorful emotions:
Jeremiah 17:9, The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (NIV)

1 John 3:20, For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. (NIV)

Proverbs 4:23, Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life (NIV)

Reflections:
Do I rely on my emotions to determine the outcome of my day?

What circumstances influence my emotions?

Power Verses:
Romans 12:2, "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." (NLT)

Philippians 4:8, "Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse." (MSG)

Galatians 5:22-24, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (NIV)

© 2010 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.

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10 Comments:

Anonymous Mommy Melback said...

Love the whole thing but I love how you mention not letting your emotions control your day. Thank you for touching my heart (and head).

Anonymous Girl...Hush! said...

Thanks for doing your part to place The Truth in front of us! I love the passage from 1st John and made note of it. It's amazing how God's Word can come back to you with a fresh perspective...over and over again...as if you've never read it before!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So true and convicting. The phrase you used, "emotional junk food" is a good one in conveying just how much influence the media (TV, music, etc) can make on our thoughts.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

so true! sometimes we let the worries and stresses of this world take away from seeing the Truth. I pray God will take my emotions and put them in His hands and not let me stray because of an emotion that I felt..I fall on the alter of my heart and ask God to keep my heart pure from all unrighteousness and to sanctify my soul from all evil. In Jesus Name..

Anonymous Christ Following Dad said...

For what it's worth, I have been reading and sharing these devotions with a small group of men I meet with weekly.

I want to thank you for having all of the content of each devotional completely hemmed in to what God's truth is. There is no guessing what God's word says, or what his truth is, there is direct focus and intent on bringing God's word before each of us in our days, hours, and moments with the Lord. Thank you for reminding me of His truth and that the enemy is powerless against it.

In Him,
jason

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is so true i had one of those moments at church this past Sunday
I realized how i need to be up close and personal with God and not with the pastor or members of the church it helped put a lot of things into perspective and this sums it up.
Thank you, you are always so inspirational and it is amazing you always have the right things to say.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want not concur on it. I assume warm-hearted post. Expressly the title attracted me to review the unscathed story.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for today, it helps me in my battle over depressive like symptoms

OpenID auburnchick said...

Wow! What a terrific post! My English teacher used to have a plaque in her classroom that read, "Bloom where you are planted." I often think of this and remember to just trust God in ALL my circumstances, regardless of how I'm feeling emotionally.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I needed to see this today. I've been letting the legalistic voices from my past take over my thoughts lately...the ones where you aren't a good Christian if you're "blue" today, or "red" today.
Thank you so much for reminding me. I love coming to pro31 every day!

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