Mastering Emotions

Few years ago, I encountered a verse that would change how I view my emotions forever. I was reminded of this verse when it was preached last Sunday in the church.

Genesis 4:3-7 So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” -NASB

Prior to the first murder of man on earth, the Lord spoke to Cain on ruling over sin. In my opinion, it also meant ruling over his emotion because he was angry and sad at that time. Cain failed to do so and he was cursed from the ground, his workplace.

Emotions are valid. Feelings are okay. They are a part of our wiring. BUT we must master our emotions. Meaning, they shouldn’t be the sole basis of our actions. Our emotions can mislead us. When Cain was emotional, God asked him: why he’s angry, why his countenance has fallen, and instructed him to do well. It seems like God was preventing Cain to go out of track. He even gave him 2 choices and the consequences of each: if you do well VS if you do not do well. If we just respond well, we overcome.

Last month I was asked by a student. “Is it okay to have a crush?” I started by defining the word. A crush or infatuation is an intense emotion or desire over a person that usually doesn’t last a long time. While it’s okay for me that a student or a single person admires someone because of his/her character and whatnots, a crush or an infatuation would be a different story. What’s the purpose of that intense emotion? Master your emotions.

Which emotion do you need to master? Is it that anger in your heart? “In your anger, do not sin.” Is it a grief you need to overcome? Is it falling in love? Falling in love differs from love. The former is entirely an emotion and/or attraction. The latter involves a decision such that you don’t fall out of it.

Jesus is our example in mastering emotions. He did it when he faced the cross. And though he felt the agony, he was willing to lay down his life for us and therefore, endured the cross. In the end, he overcame. Though he was murdered, he saved us.

Let us master our emotions and whenever we think it is impossible, Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.-ESV