Control your feelings or let your feelings control you?

Dear Lord,

I stress and can't control it.
I thoght that was it.
I was wrong.

No wonder I was happy being a teacher. Don't get me wrong, being a teacher is not a piece of cake.
Maybe it's because I enjoyed it so much and I had such a deep love for my students, but
I've never been under so much stress in my life like in the whirlwind world of the computer programer.

I'm glad I have. Stress, frustration, pressure, or anger makes the worst come out of you.
Sadly, that worst comes out in an office environment for everyone to see.
To say that I haven't lived up to my "christian" testimony would be an understatment.
I've been very grateful for this, though.
1. It has made me realize I'm not the goody two-shoes I was so intent in making everyone believe I was, including myself. Yes, the realization has been mainly to myself.
This does wonders in crushing my pride.
2. It has challenged me to learn to be the difference. Knowing something and doing it are two very different things. Just because I've been taught all my life God's ways and principles doesn't mean I automatically follow them like I thought I would, including my marriage.

Stress brings the worst in me. My tolerance, kindness, softness, respectfulness, and much more is reduced to 10% when I'm stressed.
So, control your feelings or let your feelings control you? That, dear Shakespear, is the real question!
But then a question would come out of that one: Can you control your feelings?
Can you?

James says that the man who can control his tongue is perfect. Perfect.
Can you say confidently like Paul, "Imitate me because I imitate Christ"?
Paul is nice enough to let us know he is still human though, and how he is able to press forward.

Philipians 3

 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,

The extremely stressing environment of my work has been excuse long enough.
I love Peter's advice:

2 Peter 2
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind,forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters,[a] make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The first words that would pop out for me were "will never stumble and rich welcome." These are the words I covet and desire.
There is a good reason why we stumble and I've come to begin to learn to stop fearing stumbling.
However, as I now don't jump to the end and wish to strain toward what's ahead, there are new words popping:
"Make every effort, increasing measure, ineffective and unproductive, nearsighted, forgetting.."

This practical girl and reforming control freak is very happy to have the steps numbered and in an order:
1. to your faith add goodness,
2. to your goodness, knowledge,
3. to your knowledge, self-control,
4. to your self-control, perseverance,
5. to your perseverance, godliness,
6. to your godliness, mutual affection,
7. to your mutual affection, love!

Isn't it awesome they're 7 steps?! It's my favorite number! :P
You see, I was only trying for self-control right now.
Where has that landed me? Lets take a look:
1. I say less bad words. Not enough. I shouldn't say one.
2. I don't treat others badly when I'm stressed. Not enough. I should treat them kindly always, not just "not bad."
3. I have murmured less. Not enough. My attitude should always be grattitude.
4. I bite my tongue better. Not enough. I should be striving for "if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things."

You see, self-control alone won't produce in me godliness or mutual affection, let alone love!
And my "self-control" without faith, goodness, and knowledge before will never be true self-control. It will just be a means to give "a better image of myself, miss goody two-shoes again."

My dear friend Kenny, who happens to be fellow christian (thank You for christian co-workers!) was trying to give me tips on controlling my stress.
And then he finally gave me an advice that I could use (yes, I'm still dealing with others telling me what to do to not stress and finding it hard to swallow).
I had given up. There is no way I can control my stress. Is there?
And Kenny said: "Wake up every morning and pray for your stress beforehand."
That's a good start for step 1. Step one is actually having faith (Shhh, don't say anything. This messes up my 7 steps awesomeness :P).
Do I have faith God can control my stress and do something about it?

So, as I refuse to be ineffective and unproductive in my Christian life, today I begin to take steps putting every effort in them.
Step 1: Wake up every morning and pray for my stress. Linda, work in this step before you're already trying to jump on the adding goodness. Do so fervently and diligently.
And my sweet friends, you my awesome readers, you are welcomed in praying for my stress and my baby's health each morning too. I will highly appreciate it!  Let me know if you got a step for yourself for me to pray for it.

I love You, Jesus.
Let me not forget that we have been cleansed from our past sins,
and have mercy over me, oh God,
according to your unfailing love,
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions. :)

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad there were seven steps too – I heart the number seven as well. I like things ordered out like that – maybe I too have a control freak mind. I can see you engaging with Scripture – and engaging with James and Paul – and learning from their human side and the words inspired by God. None of us is perfect – YOU'RE not perfect – neither was Paul – neither was James, although he was called "James the Just". I can see you learning – I can see you growing – and I was blessed by reading. God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours Linda.