I had a conversation with an older friend a couple weeks ago, he posed the concept that we are made up of three parts: spirit, soul and mind. He defined the spirit as the “breath of God” within us. It is our thoughts. It is what will return to God upon our passing. Our soul, he said, took on the form of our physical bodies, I think… and our mind – oh, our minds! This is the area that governs our emotions. Which makes our minds the most powerful driving force of all three parts that constitute man.
What really stood out to me was the mind. Is this really the control center for my ever complicated emotions? The mind, the center of it all, if you think about it… If we aren’t careful, we can allow our emotions to steer our thoughts even… Or do our thoughts steer our emotions?
Please allow me to pose this question: Is our will and/or desire driven by our emotions or are our emotions driven by our will and desires?
My take: Emotions are not meant to be our guides, therefore they are not the driving forces behind our will/desires… However, I have allowed my emotions to guide me, once upon a time (and sometimes still)… I did not know how to place them under subjection and confused my emotions for my desires – for my will. (Talk about a disaster when all was said and done!)
As humans, we are emotional beings. Me, well, I tend to be an overachiever in that department, so I really have to check myself to ensure that my decisions are not driven by my emotions. Sometimes, they are – it cannot always be helped. Sometimes, I have to check my will and my desires to ensure that they are in line with Christ, and not driven by my human emotions. When my human emotions say, “She hurt you, get her back – say this or do that – ” I have to check myself. What does the Word say? What is my actual will here? I have control. I do not have to let my emotions control me. They get me into trouble when they are in control.
Just recently, dealing with an offense – emotionally I was angry and wanted to send a reply email that refuted a statement, disproving some statements in an email sent to me. Okay, I was livid! What was driving me? I know that “anger” is a secondary emotion. I had only to be honest with myself to discover what was at the heart of my beyond anger-anger. Emotions. I checked my will and desires. Why did I feel the need to vindicate myself, and what was the motive behind it? I pondered this over and over… Finally, I discovered, I was hurt. I thought more of the individuals involved and the breach in the relationship was painful. My will/desire was for an apology, at the end of the day, or at least acknowledgement of the breach, it never came, rather finger pointing, not surprising.
With emotions back in check, I have dropped the matter completely. I decided to just forgive and forget. Easier said than done some days, because emotions tend to get in the way.