Why You Can't Trust Your Runaway Emotions

(Unsplash/Victor Van Welden)

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God, which is in you by the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and self-control. So do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me (2 Tim. 1:6-8).

We were bored little boys—until we discovered the blue tarp in the garage at our buddy's house. Unsure what lay beneath, one of the boys yanked the tarp and revealed, in all its glory, a blue minibike.

We stood breathless as we looked in disbelief at this treasure. We had no idea where it came from or why it was there. Perhaps it was a gift from God like the chariot that took Elijah into heaven? For a boy, when a motor and wheels come together, something supernatural and sacred happens.

With the quiet precision of ninjas, we slyly rolled our little hog out of the garage. One of the boys jumped as high as he could and came down full force on the kick starter. Like Lazarus getting out of his grave in full glory, the old bike roared to life. Unfortunately, the throttle was stuck open, and our buddy lasted mere seconds on the seat. Like an old bronco rider, he was quickly bucked off. The minibike, however, was stuck on full speed as it took off down the street with no one steering it.

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Chasing after it down the road, we were screaming at the other kids in the neighborhood to get out of the way. Eventually the street beast tilted to the right and veered into a fence, where it fell over as a tire kept spinning.

People are like that minibike. Experiences in life are like fuel. Emotions are like the motor. The will is like the handlebars. Without a driver, things get crazy fast.

Experiences in our lives spark our emotions, and very quickly, our lives start operating out of anger, depression, joy or whatever emotion we are feeling. The problem is, without a driver staying in the seat and holding the handlebars, things quickly escalate, and we are a lot like that minibike—out of control and barreling forward. If our feelings drive everything we say and do, it's only a matter of time before the bad crash happens.

How did Jesus maintain emotional health? How can He help you maintain yours? That's what we're going to look at over the next few days.

Mark Driscoll is a Jesus-following, mission-leading, church-serving, people-loving, Bible-preaching pastor and the author of many books, including Spirit-Filled Jesus, which you can order here. He currently pastors The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his family. For all of pastor Mark Driscoll's Bible teaching, please visit markdriscoll.org or download the app. You can download a free devotional e-book from pastor Mark here.

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