Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I Second That Emotion

I have been unemployed for two years. Job searching can be an emotionally charged activity. I am learning that I am capable of some emotions I never knew existed.

Several weeks ago, I was chosen to participate in testing for a clerk position at a local library. I was given three time slot choices and showed up at the allotted time. There were nearly 30 other eager job seekers taking the test at the same time. This was one of three time slots and there was only one position to fill. It was discouraging to be honest.

As I looked around the room I took note of the group. There were older women, middle-aged men, and young adults. Unemployment had hit each of these people, just as it had me.

Suddenly, I felt guilty for even sitting in this room. There were obviously others who needed this job much more than I did.

The test was completed. We each went to our respective vehicles and drove home. Perhaps feeling defeated. Some encouraged by their ability. Others just not sure if anything would come of this possible job.

Then I received the email. My score was not high enough to move along in the process. How was that possible? I am a reasonably intelligent person. Surely my score wasn’t that bad! Yet another emotion…anger!

Then my husband said, “You may have scored a 95 which would have been a good score, but if four or five others scored higher, they would have been moved on in the process.”

That statement calmed me and I once again became a rational thinker.

Job searching is emotional and it can bring out the worst in me.

You would think by now I would have learned that my emotions really need to be turned over to God wouldn’t you? But there are times I allow my emotions to get the upper hand.

Anger, guilt, discouragement, and fear are in control. Irritation, helplessness, envy, and doubt creep into my way of thinking. Despair, disappointment, anxiety, and sadness make their home in my heart.

But I know from Scripture that I am not to allow these emotions to rule my heart. I am to banish fear by God’s power (2 Timothy 1:7); I am to be slow to anger (James 1:19-20); I am not to allow my sinful nature to have its hold on me (Galatians 5:19-21); I am to keep hatred at bay (1 John 4:20).

And here’s the real point of the matter. My heart is deceitful. Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NIV) says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? ‘I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.’”

You see if I allow emotions to rule my life, emotions will determine how I live, and that could be disastrous. One day I may feel a certain way, but the next I may feel differently. I am reminded of the passage in Ephesians of being swayed due to immaturity.

“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” (Ephesians 4:14-15 – NIV)

From these two passages we see that we must allow Jesus to be the Lord of our hearts. The King of our emotions. We must allow Him to know our hearts and fill our hearts with His Spirit. Then we will be able to stand firm when our emotions want to take control.

Job searching has brought the emotions out in me for certain. But through these long months, I’ve learned to depend upon God for all my needs. I’ve sought Him when no one else could satisfy. I’ve been uplifted by the everlasting arms of my heavenly Father.

You may be feeling some of these emotions today. If so, I pray that you’ll seek God. Ask Him to search your heart and see what needs to be fixed. Ask Him to be the Lord of your emotions. By doing so, you have the opportunity to live a life of truth and a life free from the lie of hopelessness. And it is freedom indeed!

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


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