Interpreting Negative Emotions

small_3294048110The history of my life consists of thousands of events large and small. My emotional condition is drawn from the interpretation of those events. God provides a divine course correction to our lives in this regard – it’s called renewing the mind. We are not meant to be ruled by our emotions nor be controlled by what others do or say to us. The process of interpretation is so quick however, that I immediately become aware of what I’m feeling (emotion) and this tends to occupy and rule the horizon of my soul unless there is another grid in place with which to interpret. Thank God – over time, we can be trained in His Word, interpret rightly, and reap a balanced emotional life.

Personally, the stronghold of shame has been the silent infiltrator throughout most of my life. Shame is commonly defined by contrasting it with guilt. Guilt says, “I did wrong” while shame says “I am wrong.” Performance orientation (persistently evaluated as a child based on how well I did), being an introvert (lacking objectivity), and making lots of wrong choices (sin) left severe cracks in my foundation. I dragged weights behind me for a long time. What I was feeling was directly linked to what I believed. Without having a weapon to fight with, I agreed with these conclusions about myself. “There IS something wrong with you Mike.” My brain had a river named “The Shame River” running through it; a neuronal pathway worn through the years.

My testimony in the ongoing healing of shame has included many visits to the King’s table; wonderfully illustrated for us in the book of Second Samuel chapter nine. King David discovers that there is still someone alive from the house of Saul to whom he desires to show kindness. It is Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, a crippled man. His name means “dispeller of shame.” The literal meaning is to shatter shame in pieces. I find myself wonderfully cast in this story and I believe that we all have a reserved seat of honor at the table.

“Because this whole story is vicarious, we can easily and legally substitute ourselves for Mephibosheth and Christ for David. It’s not what Mephibosheth did; it’s what someone did for him, on his behalf. Jesus sees us lame in both feet, and He willingly paid the price for us to eat at the King’s table.”¹

Everyone needs assistance at times to approach this banquet of healing. Be open to who the Lord might bring across your path to facilitate a deeper healing in your heart. Also know this: you are meant to be a facilitator for someone else. A husband and wife that press into this healing realm will find the resources with which to love one another. As the voice of truth grows the voice of negative emotions will subside.

¹ Bob Mumford, Agape Road, (Shippensburg, Destiny Image, 2002) p.189
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