Saturday, December 31, 2011

"Blue"

Growing up (and now) my mom taught me a valuable principle.

You should not always act on how you feel.

Emotions are a fickle thing. They change just about as often as a little girl changes her clothes. Emotions are also unfounded. They pick up the most random obscure facts and run with them. To base ones actions on something so trivial is stupid. Downright foolish.

It sound so simple. We know better than to lash out in our anger or spit poison every time our feelings are hurt. We know that just because you are attracted to someone doesn't mean you flirt or do something worse. It is understood that we check our actions- that we should govern our responses to our emotions.

Yet, I fear we overlook the emotion that I am going to call "blue". Blue is that one that comes and causes you to feel rather listless. Something seems off but you just don't know what. Maybe you get that "gut" feeling that isn't quite nausea but almost. You aren't motivated to do anything and it seems everything you do do just makes you feel worse. Sometimes we call it a "funk". Blue is a slippery thing to define but maybe you've got the picture.

Often I see women give in to blue. I've done it myself.  But Blue is just an emotion. Most of the time (at least with me) it is unfounded.  If you are a Christian you may even pray and read your Bible hoping that it will cure you of blue. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it just sinks you for no matter where you turn you are reminded of your sin. Not that such a reminder is bad but we can't stay there. We don't "feel" saved or loved and we wonder why God hasn't answered our prayer when we are blue. So we give it up and resign ourselves to being blue for at least a little while.

That, my friends, is stupid. (excuse my bluntness) It is acting on blue. And remember, blue is just an emotion. Instead of surrendering, put up a fight. God could instantly take away blue. He could fix whatever is going on immediately but He does not always. He has given us the tools to fight. I don't wonder that maybe that is the answer to our prayer.It requires the engaging of the mind. Instead of acting on what we feel to be true we must act on what we know to be true. We must choose.
We must choose:
  • to praise and thank Him through the mundane tasks
  • reflect on His character- verbally [even if it just in your head "out loud"] 1 Peter 2:9
  • to sing praises to Him [He doesn't care how bad you sound] Psalm 30:4
  • to go out and meet people or take a walk
  • to reflect on the truth that we are "1 Peter 2:9 ; Romans 5:8
  • to invest in our loved ones [do something extra special]
I do not say this to the neglect of prayer and Bible reading. Instead, couple it with the other. First, refresh yourself in the truth then act upon it.

At my house, mom doesn't leave much room for us to be in a "funk" and I'm thankful. It has helped me to learn how to curb that apatite even when she isn't around. Next time you are tempted to be blue...act out in spite of it...act upon Truth.

NOTE:  Although "blue" can be likened and may even be better termed, slight depression,(Quite frankly, I've no idea.) this post is not about those who are truly clinically depressed. I do think that if the principle above is followed it will help one who is clinically depressed but I am not saying that is all that is needed in such cases.

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