Thursday, February 17, 2011

Emotional Health

Lately I haven't been on the top of the Emotional Health game.

I've experienced:
anxiety
depression
guilt
jealousy
frustration
lack of patience
lack of understanding
short temperedness
snappiness

Well, you get the picture. I started thinking about how our emotional health is affected by our current spiritual health. You see lately I've been slacking on certain spiritual disciplines that can be easy to let slide...Bible study and memorization, set aside prayer time, and devotional reading. All these things keep me "in tune" with the Savior and what He wants to do in my life. When I let things fall into disrepair, the emotions are the first things to show wear and tear. Then, I start "bearing the wrong kind of fruit". Instead of the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control, I start showing that list of things I've already listed.

It's a lot like your physical body. If you starve yourself, your body suffers. If you feed your body junk food, instead of nutritious food, it begins to show itself in negative side effects (bad health overall, weight gain, lack of energy). Only when we do the good things for the body, does it perform to its potential. Our spiritual and emotional health work the same way. We were created to love and serve God...to seek to strengthen our relationship with Him. Only when we do the things we know are good for our spiritual bodies, do we "perform" to our potential. Our marriage would be pretty stinky, if we only talked to our spouse once every couple of days.

Just like with our physical bodies, when we decide to change our bad habits...we might not look or feel different at first. But for each baby step we take in the right direction, we are one step closer than we were before. It's only when we give up, and decide how we are is just fine, that the striving and fighting is over. I may not be perfect and I know I have a long way to go, but I've come too far to turn back now. There's an old chorus I've sang probably my whole life that goes: "I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back!" Sometimes I feel like a take too many pit stops on this journey, but I won't quit the race!


Jesus said: "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

John 15:4-5

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