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2 Timothy 1:6–9

‘For this reason, I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.’(vv6–7)

One reason for bad decisions is the fact that we are often driven by our emotions. Someone once said, ‘When angry we make the best speech we’ll ever regret!’ All of us can identify with the fiery and emotional speech we have made before spinning on our heels, leaving the room and slamming the door behind us. The immediate feelings of ‘Well that told them!’, slowly dissipate and we realise we now have to eat some humble pie and face the person we have wounded with our words.

Not an easy point of re-entry, one that starts with an honest apology and proceeds from there. God is used to our repeated reactions and humble returns in search of His forgiveness, always immediately given. A further skill that we develop through maturity is self-discipline or self-control. When we are encompassed in a red mist provoked by our emotions, best to press the pause button and place some distance between us and the object of our emotional excitement.

Failure to do so can lead to conflict and behaviour that reflects our brokenness rather than God’s grace.  All disciplines are the fruit of commitment and practice. This is essential in learning to become self-disciplined. When we let our emotions control our actions, things quickly run away from us. We need to learn to analyse and manage our behaviour so that we cooperate with God in every circumstance. This will prove challenging but serves as part of God’s transformative purpose in our lives.

SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: 2 Chron. 15:1–9; Prov. 25:18–28; 1 Cor. 9:24–27; Col. 2:1–8.

AN ACTION TO TAKE: How good are you at identifying when you are being guided by your emotions rather than God’s Spirit?

A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, help me to learn self-control through encounter with the Holy Spirit in every circumstance. Amen’

Photo by Denys Argyriou on Unsplash
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.