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What the Bible says about Emotional Stability
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Luke 12:22-23

The phrase "do not worry" suggests a greater-than-normal concern about managing what we possess. Jesus directs this admonishment toward everyone because, no matter how much we possess, the drive to get more remains, along with insecurity about losing what we already have. He is not saying we should be unconcerned about the quality of what we eat; His concern is that we worry too much about whether we will have anything to eat.

Our focus, though, is on His statement that life is more than food and clothing. It indicates that stability and serenity of mind must come from within a person, not from outward, physical provisions. To set one's heart on material possessions or to worry about the lack of them is to live in perpetual insecurity. This approach to life is a sure-fire way to deprive ourselves of a major blessing of life God wants us to enjoy. His calling enables us to live an abundant life in peace and joy. In order to do this, we must be weaned away from our overwhelming dependence upon physical things. In other words, we will not find balanced emotional stability unless and until our minds are fed with a nutritious, spiritual diet.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Eating: How Good It Is! (Part Three)

Galatians 6:9

"Hope deferred," the proverb says, "makes the heart sick." Devotion to Christianity is not easy in this world because the pull to just slide is constantly present, and the Galatians were losing their attentiveness. A synonym for devotion is "attentiveness," and these people were becoming inattentive in their devotion to Christ.

They had lost sight of the real goal and entirely neglected what Christ was doing for them on a daily basis. He had not lost His attentiveness to them. Because they had allowed themselves to drift, they were not aware what Christ was doing for them out of His love for them.

If we can think of this in a human sense, it was as if He were being spurned, where one of the two parties involved in a loving relationship is doing all the good things and the other is passive. So, there was Christ, making the effort through His apostles—through the church and His ministry by means of the Spirit—to stir them up, but they were not paying a great deal of attention.

How quickly they forgot that without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5)! If they were going to have any spiritual growth and reward, it would be through their relationship with Christ. Yet, they were forgetting that their supply of the Spirit, as it were, was coming from Him. He is the main trunk of the tree—He is the vine, we are the branches—and so the relationship is all-important.

Daily, He prepares us for the Kingdom. "I go and prepare a place for you," He says in John 14:2. He is working with us on a daily basis, forgiving us, leading us, being patient with us, and providing for us. However, the Galatians were instead looking longingly at the world for gratification and relief.

If a person feels that his affections are abused by the one he loves, it impairs his power to grow because people tend to follow the lead of their emotions. Human beings are very emotional creatures. These Galatians felt that, because He had not returned according to their expectations, and because Christ and the Father had allowed them to go through persecutions—both economic and social—they were being neglected. They were feeling as though their affections for Christ were being abused. They thus allowed themselves to follow the lead of their emotions.

It is a principle that what we like to do, we gradually become. We then set our wills to do what we like to do. We must be very careful about what we set our emotions upon.

John W. Ritenbaugh
How to Know We Love Christ


 




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