Self-Control vs. Spirit-Control

 In emotions, The Spirit

Maybe, like me, you often struggle with a case of the “emotional outbursts.” For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, let me explain. Emotional outbursts are those time where you spew emotions – anger, jealousy, anxiety – at people suspecting and unsuspecting, and, for the most part, they happen without your consent.

Sound familiar?

What has often frustrated my struggle with emotional outbursts in the past is the idea that I could somehow get them under control with the power of my own self will. If I just tried a little harder, breathed a little deeper, then maybe I could stop myself from emotionally spewing on my kids or a friend. But the funny thing is that never worked! The only thing that increased was the frequency and quantity of my stress.

The real solution for emotional outbursts is a Spirit-controlled life – that is, a life lived with the Holy Spirit’s control. In our own strength of self, we just don’t have what it takes to truly control and temper our volatile and varied emotions. But with God’s help and the daily (notice I said daily) guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can see improvement for our overall emotional health.

In a fight between self-control and Spirit-control, the winner takes all by a landslide. We are limited within ourselves, and that’s okay! There is nothing wrong with admitting we are at the end of our own restraint, grace, or proverbial ropes. In fact, being able to finally give up the fight and submit to the Spirit’s direction is likely the beginning of your breakthrough to emotional stability.

The fact is that we can’t make things better by simply willing them to be so. We need God’s help. We need a daily dose of the Spirit to get us through with renewed strength, grace, and energy. Today, stop the fight before it even begins, and allow the Holy Spirit to take control. You may just find that your emotional outbursts are suddenly a lot fewer and further between.

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