resolving negative emotions


EMOTIONS ARE IMPORTANT TO GOD

Emotions are important to each of us and they are important to God! Biblical evidence of this is found in Galatians 5:22-23 where nine fruits of the Spirit are listed and the first three are emotions: Love, Joy, and Peace. The nine "fruits" are nine evidences of the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and the implication of their placement at the head of the list is that these three emotions regulate our ability to demonstrate the last six "fruits" in our lives. Although we should learn to be obedient to the Word of God regardless of our feelings, the truth is that even the most devout believers will not remain obedient to the Lord if they feel emotional pain for long. This is why the Lord desires us to experience genuine peace in our lives, so that it will sustain us under difficult circumstances.


THE IMPORTANCE OF PEACE

Jesus said in John 14:27, "My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." In this passage, and in many others, the Lord makes it clear that He desires us to experience genuine peace. This is not just a theoretical peace that we sing about in hymns, it is a practical peace that sustains us even when we experience difficulties in our lives. We cannot experience this peace when we are full of anger, sadness, fear, grief, depression, or other strong emotions. In order to experience the peace of God, our negative feelings must be removed and replaced with love, joy, and peace, which then lead us to have a gentle and quiet spirit. This website can help you identify the negative feelings you carry and to learn how to remove them.


THE GOAL OF A PEACEFUL HEART

The Lord does, indeed, desire us to have peace in our heart but the ultimate reason for this is not so that we can passively sit around enjoying God's peace as the world collapses around us. The disciples of Jesus were saddened when He told them that He was leaving them (John 16:6-7) but He told them that they could experience His peace so that they would not be fearful (John 16:1-2) or stumble. Ultimately, He wants us to experience His peace so that we will boldly step out and carry the gospel, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the entire world (Acts 1:6-8). This is why Jesus said to the disciples, when they asked if He was getting ready to restore the kingdom to Israel, "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." The Lord wants us to experience His peace in ALL circumstances (2 Thessalonians 3:16) so that we can live for Him unimpeded by our past and by our emotional inhibitions. May you come to know the "God of Peace" in your life as you explore this website. 

  • TWO TYPES OF EMOTIONS


    BELIEF-BASED EMOTIONS

    Belief-based Emotions

    Many emotions are based upon and caused by our beliefs. This is the fundamental principle upon which secular "Cognitive Therapy" is based, that it is not facts and events that cause our feelings, but our view of them. There is much truth to this, but many such beliefs that affect individuals are rooted in past experiences and it is difficult for counselors to dislodge or uproot these beliefs. The Lord is able to easily dislodge these beliefs, however, when we learn how to pray effectively about these beliefs. Although there are many different names for emotions, they can generally be placed into one of six major categories of belief-based emotions: Aloneness, Shame, Fear, Hurt, Helplessness, and Hopelessness. The Lord can heal us of each of these emotions quickly but this website is focused primarily upon the belief-based feeling of shame and how to replace it with truth. As we receive God's truth into our minds, it will set us free from our Shame. "You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). Our literature and training tapes provide help for the other types of belief-based feelings. 



  • FACT-BASED EMOTIONS

    Fact-based Emotions 

    In sharp contrast to secular theories, this ministry recognizes some negative emotions to be based-upon facts and negative events and not based upon wrong thinking and misinterpretations. The biblical proof of this is that Jesus, the Son of God, experienced a number of negative feelings in His earthly life, including Grief, Anger, Sadness, and Disappointment. But because He was the Son of God we know that these feelings were not caused by wrong thinking or misinterpretations. The implications of this are very significant and profoundly affect those who minister to others regarding their emotional struggles. The truth is that when someone suddenly loses a loved one they may experience strong feelings of grief even if their thinking is not distorted. This explains why secular therapists are so ineffective in helping those with feelings of grief and anger (see "Research" under "Training" heading). 


IDENTIFYING YOUR EMOTIONS


One of the first steps toward healing is to be honest about your feelings and then identify the various feelings you have so you can focus on one at a time. One man stated that he parents never expressed their feelings to one another and never allowed him to express his feelings. When he became upset his mother often told him, "You don't really feel that way" or "It's wrong to feel that way." He would simply go to his room and throw a tantrum but he then felt that something was wrong with him. This man's father was a funeral director and his family lived above the funeral parlor and the children were required to be very quiet during services, when they could hear people weeping in the chapel. It made this man feel sick to his stomach when he heard such crying and he developed a fear of others thinking badly of him when he showed emotions. After some prayer about this he concluded that it is okay to weep at times and to feel strong feelings because Jesus did. Many people have so many emotions that they are confused and do not know what they feel. Their feelings are like a tangled fishing line or a ball of yarn, with each strand representing a different emotion, and as they unravel the yarn it exposes additional strands or layers of emotions. This section of the website is intended to help you identify the emotions you are experiencing so that you can begin removing them, one at a time. Read the descriptions given to help you identify the various emotions you are feeling, then go to the section on "Steps to Peace" to learn how you can resolve or remove the negative emotion you are feeling.





RESOLVING FACT-BASED FEELINGS

            Step One:  Make a thorough list of the reasons for your anger or grief.

                                                Step Two:  Tell the Lord the reasons for your anger or grief and sincerely ask                                                                           Him to take it from you.

  • GRIEF AND LOSS


    GRIEF AND LOSS: Grief is an intense longing for someone, or something, that you have lost. Losses can come in four forms: 1) Loss of life, 2) Loss of a relationship, 3) Loss of a job, or 4) Loss of health. When you have grief you "miss" the person or thing that you lost and you and may have an intense longing for it (or them) and think about it frequently. 
  • ANGER

    ANGER: Anger is a natural feeling you have when you have been injured, wronged, or mistreated, or when you observe a great injustice. These feelings energize you to take revenge, to hurt someone, to damage something, or they lead you to overreact to others. Although anger is a natural reaction it can lead to serious emotional or behavioral problems. Anger is not wrong, but if you hold onto it too long it will hurt you and others whom you love. 
  • SADNESS

    SADNESS: Sadness is a fact-based emotion that is often seen simultaneously with grief but is a separate emotion. It is not as intense as anger or grief, but is a negative feeling that is triggered by some unfortunate circumstance. It is sad, for example, when a young person die, or a child is injured, or a child loses a parent. All such tragedies can trigger off feelings of sadness. After feelings of grief are resolved, feelings of sadness may still exist and need to be addressed and resolved. 
  • DISAPPOINTMENT


    DISAPPOINTMENT: Disappointment is a mild form of anger that is triggered off by a trusted person doing something selfish or irresponsible that was unexpected. It is not based upon irrational thinking but by people failing to behave as they should, so it is a fact-based emotion. Even Jesus was disappointed in His disciples after He was resurrected and in Mark 16:14 the Scriptures say, "He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen." 
  • guilt

    GUILT: Everyone falls short of God's standards and their own standards and guilt is the emotion we feel when we know we have fallen short. The only way to find relief from genuine guilt is through forgiveness through Jesus. The world does not offer a solution to this problem other than minimizing and rationalizing it away. If a believer in Jesus confesses their sin to God and are forgiven, then their guilt is removed. If they cannot forgive themselves or if they still "feel guilty" then this is the feeling of Shame. 

rESOLVING BELIEF-BASED EMOTIONS


THREE STEPS FOR RESOLVING THESE FEELINGS:

                                   Step One:     Identify the original source (When you first felt it)

                                    Step Two:     Identify the underlying belief.

                                    Step Three:  Pray for truth about your belief.

  • shame

    SHAME: Shame is a belief-based feeling of "false guilt" in contrast to genuine guilt. Genuine guilt, in contrast, is a fact-based feeling that comes when we violate God's moral standards, but when we confess our failures God forgives us and removes all our "guilty stains." Shame is what we feel if we have genuinely confessed our failures and still feel badly. It is often connected to a belief that "I am bad, dirty, or shameful because of what I did" or "It is my fault." The following thoughts usually accompany feelings of shame: "It was my fault. I should have done something to stop it. I participated in it, I enjoyed it, I enjoyed it, I deserved it, it happened because of my appearance, I should have told someone, I should have resisted it,  I am bad, dirty, or shameful because of what happened, I will never be happy or clean again, even God could not want me or listen to me after what I've done."

  • FEAR

    FEAR: Fears are belief-based emotions that are generally connected to the following thoughts and beliefs: "I'm going to die, something terrible is going to happen to me, I'm going to be hurt, he is going to come back and hurt me again, if I tell anyone he will come back and hurt me again, it will destroy my family, doom and despair are coming to me." 

  • ALONENESS


    ALONENESS: Feelings of aloneness are belief-based emotions that are generally connected to thoughts or beliefs like the following: "I'm all alone, no one cares about me, I'm abandoned, not even God cares about me, I will always be alone, no one understands me, God has forsaken me, there is no one to protect me, they will never come back for me." 

  • HURT

    HURT: Feelings of hurt are belief-based emotions that are usually connected to thoughts like: "I am unimportant, I am not wanted, loved, or valued, my feelings are not important, I am worthless, no one cares for me, I cannot measure up no matter how hard I try, I am unacceptable, I cannot please others because ____________, I am a burden, I am in the way, I am not liked, I am not appreciated." 



  • HELPLESSNESS

    HELPLESSNESS: Feelings of helplessness are belief-based emotions that are usually connected to thoughts like: "I'm weak, I'm overwhelmed, I'm helpless against him, I cannot do anythng to resist him, I'm too small to do anything about it, I'm going to die, everything is out of control, I am trapped, even God cannot help me, there is no way out." 

  • HOPELESSNESS

    HOPELESSNESS: Feelings of hopelessness are belief-based emotions that are usually connected to thoughts like: "There is no hope for me, it's never going to get better, there is no way out, not even God can help me, nothing good can ever come from this, I have no reason to live."