How can I stay calm? Around the holidays, it is so easy for me to lose my cool. Whether it’s the endless traffic clogging every street in Fayetteville or my kids picking up everything they see in the stores, I can tell when my emotions are taking the lead and my patience is running thin. A blog post I recently read had some good thoughts that helped me wrap my head around my emotions and my mind.
The blog article defined maturity as the ability for your thoughts to keep pace with your emotions. When our emotions outrun our thoughts and become the driver of our words and actions, we tend to make short-sighted decisions that we later regret. Growing in our emotional maturity means acknowledging our emotions and learning to bring our rational minds into our internal “mental conversations” before we act.
In the book of Philippians, Paul writes this to a Christians community, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus…” (2:3-5).
As Christians, we are to be imitators of Christ — having His mindset as our own in all situations. Spiritual maturity means not only bringing my thoughts in line with my emotions, but bringing Jesus’s thoughts in line with my emotions. Paul instructs us to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
By praising God, giving thanks, and staying in a prayerful mindset, we can hear from the Holy Spirit, even in the most stressful of situations – allowing us to allow God’s thoughts to be ours, even when emotions are elevated.
This holiday season, may we not be overcome with frustration, stress, or anger. May we grow in Spiritual maturity by allowing God’s Word to lead our actions, not our emotions.