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7 deadly emotional sins and what to do about them

Feelings are a lot like waves; We can’t stop them from coming, but we can choose which one to navigate. ~ Jonatan Martensson

What kind of life do you want? Let me guess.

You want peace, prosperity, and good health. You would like life to be less rushed and rushed. I’m right?

Health, peace, and even prosperity are directly affected by our thoughts and emotions. Stress has been shown time and again to cause illness. Stress is created by mastering negative emotions. God wants you to be stress free.

Have you ever tried to put together a complicated piece of furniture or a ready-to-assemble children’s toy without reading the instruction book? Stressful, huh? Well, life is the same. God has given us a manual to follow: things to do and things not to do. The problem is that we tend to ignore the recommendations. Oh, we know the Ten Commandments, but we don’t pay much attention to His other instructions.

That includes these seven deadly emotional sins.

Fear –

Fear denies faith. Declare that the problem is bigger than God. Is that possible? The Bible says that He is the Most High, nothing is greater or higher than God. Fear is always false – a lie told by the devil to weaken your faith and short-circuit your success. Fear is a bully, all bluff and noise, designed to distract you from forgetting how powerful you are as a child of God and joint heir with Jesus.

The solution: Do not fear, just believe (Luke 8:50). Fear must be replaced by faith: faith in God’s promises and in His love for you. Faith comes from knowing and understanding those promises. Study and meditate on the relevant Bible verses until your faith overcomes your fear. “Just believing” is an act of your will, not your emotions. You don’t have to listen to those negative thoughts. Replace fear with positive affirmations of faith. Stay with him until you know the fear is gone.

Anger –

Anger, anger, hatred, hostility, and animosity are various degrees of selfish dislike. It is an emotional reaction to feeling hurt (emotionally, mentally, physically) or threatened in some way. Use anger as a way to compensate for pain or insult. The problem with anger (and most negative emotions) is that it hurts more than the target of your anger. It creates stress, insomnia, anxiety, and a host of physical and mental problems. The longer you are angry, the more damage it will do to you, not to the other person.

The solution: stop anger and give up anger; don’t worry … (Psalm 37: 8). The Bible declares that God is merciful. When we think of His mercy and forgiveness, should we – can we – do less? Follow their example. Put aside your selfish feelings (yes, you can). Instead, show mercy and compassion. Like fear, anger is an emotional choice. Decide to show mercy and release anger and confusion. When feelings of anger invade your mind, say to yourself, “I have decided not to be angry about it again. I choose peace.” Don’t take care of your wounds. The more consistent you are with your choice, the sooner those negative feelings will disappear.

Lack of forgiveness –

Unforgiveness is a byproduct of anger and selfishness, and it accomplishes absolutely nothing! The other person probably doesn’t even know that you are hurt or angry. In fact, unforgiveness destroys your peace and blocks your prayers. Mark 11: 23-26 explains that you can have anything you say, but the next instruction is when you are praying, forgive, if you have something against someone.

The solution: forgive. Plain and simple. God forgives us all our sins and faults. His example is our command. How many times in the New Testament did Jesus say “Your sins are forgiven you” just before the petitioner received everything he prayed for and hoped for? Forgiveness is the key to peace of mind. It is a choice that you make. Decide to forgive. It may take a while for your emotions to agree with your decision, but don’t give up. One of the last things Jesus prayed on the cross for God to forgive his executioners. Should you do less?

Greed –

Greed is idolatry (Col. 3: 5) and leads to all kinds of selfishness and sin. It is the root cause of theft, greed, stinginess and greed. It is rooted in fear, saying “I have to take care of myself and do everything I can.” A greedy heart has forgotten God’s promises of prosperity. Instead of a generous heart, greed clenches its fist, ignoring the needs of others.

The solution: give it away! Find ways to be a blessing. Remember the man who came to Jesus and asked, “What good will I do to have eternal life?” (Matt. 19:16) Jesus told him to sell what he had and give it to the poor. You don’t have to sell everything (Jesus didn’t say everything) but that young man didn’t want to part with anything. Open your hand and your heart, trusting that God will take care of you. The entire universe is based on the principle of sowing and reaping, sowing and reaping. The more you give and share, the more you will receive. Remember, God loves a cheerful giver.

Pride –

Pride has an excessively high opinion of oneself. It is often disguised as false humility. “Oh okay, it really was nothing,” while inside you’re jumping up and down, celebrating your achievement. Pride is deceived by a false sense of power (Jer. 49:16; Ob. 1: 3). He says, “I can handle this problem myself. I don’t need to bother anyone (including God) with it.” Pride says, “I can work it out. I don’t need to ask for help.” Pride examines other people and finds them in some way, even when he takes ‘pride’ in how great you are and how well you are doing.

The solution: pride is different from understanding your worth and worth. We all have certain God-given talents and abilities. You can enjoy those skills and use them in the service of others, but acknowledge their Source. Even Jesus recognized that he could do nothing without the Father.

God clearly told us to put all our care in Him because He cares about us. He wants us to need Him, to trust Him for all our needs and wants. Be aware that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above … (James 1:17). No matter what you need or want, God is the Creator. Anything you can accomplish is only by His grace, mercy, and blessing. Acknowledge it with a humble and grateful heart.

Envy

Also called greed, envy wants what everyone else has. When someone has been blessed with something you wanted, can you be honestly happy for that person? Envy ignores God’s promises of abundance for all of his children. Instead, he says, “I deserve it. Why should they have it and not me?” Envy is often spiteful or malicious and leads to frustration, depression, or anger. At worst, it encourages you to try to steal or destroy what is coveted.

The solution: Trust that God will meet all your needs (Philippians 4:19). Envy forgets that God also has a good plan for you. You have blessings galore, ready and waiting. Feed on His promises until your faith harnesses the abundance of heaven, right here on earth! Instead of lusting after what you don’t have, be grateful for everything you have. Gratitude touches the heart of God and erases those feelings of envy and lack.

Selfishness –

Aah. Here is the root of all kinds of emotional, mental and physical sin. When we become so self-centered and selfish that we cannot see another point of view, a different option, or someone else’s pain, we have forgotten about God and His plan for each of us. We have lost sight of the ‘exchange of blessings’. You give it to others and someone else gives it to you. The synergy of talents, abilities, and effort combined creates the ‘peaceful world’ that God wants us to have. Selfishness nullifies that peace.

The solution: take an honest look at their motives. Are you considering the feelings and needs of others? God is love, says the Bible. He created us in his image. His heart saddens when we forget to walk in love. Do you demand more from the people around you than they are willing or able to give? Are you withholding favor, mercy, forgiveness, and blessing? Ask yourself ‘why?’ Selfishness is the opposite of love and compassion. It is a choice that you are making in every moment, a choice that can change.

Each of these seven deadly emotional sins is an example of selfishness: we try to take care of ourselves. “It hurts. I’m angry. I need to punish someone. I want … I need …”

Be aware of your motivation. Look at Jesus as your example. He never rushed, he always had time for anyone who approached him. He was full of peace and joy, despite the political and social problems of his time. He offered help in many different ways when people received it (sometimes they didn’t, but that’s a topic for another article). He was always full of compassion. He did not care about his own needs, knowing that the Father would take care of him.

Life is a process of continuous growth. God expects you to expand your understanding of His Word, act on what you learn, and become more and more like Him. Your command is love, God’s love. If you stay focused on that and trust that God will meet all your needs and concerns, the Bible says you will never fail.

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