The Driving Force of Emotion
What We Feel We Tend To Do
What’s Controlling Who
Some people claim that their emotions do not control their behavior. As much as they would like to believe this, it simply is not so. What we feel in any given situation has great bearing on what we do. As a matter of fact, much of what we do is either an expression of our pain or an avoidance of it – pain management. Sin is often an expression of one or both of these behaviors.
The man who says that his emotions do not control him, but rather, that he controls his emotions, fails to see the obvious. The very fact that he has to expend energy to suppress what he feels says that his feelings are controlling him. His efforts to control what he feels, also known as suppression, indicate that his emotions are dictating his behavior. If his emotions were not a problem, he would not need to suppress them in the first place.
Because we feel whatever we believe, we tend to act out what we feel.
This perspective and consequential behavior (suppressing what we feel) views emotion as an enemy that has to be warded off. The truth is, emotions are not our enemy; they are part of God’s creation and design — not something we need to control, but rather something that needs our attention. Emotions are direct indicators of what we believe in any given moment. We feel whatever we believe. Because this is true, our emotions should be welcomed and well-received if we are believing the truth. However, if we do not like what we are feeling, there may be a problem with what we believe that needs our attention.
While life happens around us, our minds automatically and instantaneously search through our inventory of experientially learned core beliefs to interpret our current circumstance. When the mind selects the core belief that best fits or matches the situation, we automatically feel the emotion that corresponds with that particular belief. What we feel in any given moment tends to have a great influence on what we decide to do next. Most of us make initial choices from this emotionally-charged position.
We can try to choose to behave contrary to the emotion we feel, but such a choice involves great internal struggle. We can try not to be controlled by what we feel, but the very fact that we struggle proves otherwise. The fight not to feel something and the struggle to be in control, are being dictated by what we are feeling. So, ultimately, what is in control?
Default Options to Emotional Pain: Blame and Distraction
Performance Equals Predictable Failure.