Experiencing and Managing Emotions

God created us with the ability to experience emotions. But if you’ve ever lashed out in anger or been the victim of someone’s anger, you know unbridled emotions are powerful and can be destructive.

Thankfully, we don’t have to be a slave to our emotions. How we act and react, and whether we allow our emotions to take control, is up to us. The goal isn’t to be emotionless, but to experience and benefit from harnessed emotions.


Like a runaway horse dragging a wagon, anger causes lots of damage before it’s brought under control. Proverbs 29:11 VOICE says, “A fool does not think before he unleashes his temper, but a wise man holds back and remains quiet.”

In recent years, I’ve surprised myself by becoming inordinately angry over something that wasn’t worth it. Perhaps, as we age, we lose the filter that helps us hold back anger, but that is no excuse for mindlessly giving full vent to this powerful emotion. With self-control, you can learn to curb your anger. Don’t wait until you make a fool of yourself or embarrass your family.

To control anger, a children’s song suggests, “take a deep breath and count to four.” As adults, we may have to count higher than four! Walking away is also an option. Later, examine your anger. Discover your triggers and document your feelings and what you learned from the experience in a journal.

Experiment with several anger-controlling methods and see what works best. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when you successfully control your anger. Remember, you need God’s help to manage anger. Don’t try to control it on your own.


 Often, we say things when we’re mad that we don’t mean, but our words really hurt. Sometimes we vent our anger at the ones we love most—our family members. Maybe it’s because we think they will love us no matter what we do or say.

If you wound with your words, don’t ignore the pain you’ve caused. Go to the person you targeted and ask for forgiveness. This is hard because pride gets in the way, but if you don’t ask for forgiveness, your relationship with that person, and with God, is damaged.

Conversely, maybe you are the one who has experienced hurt. A question to ask yourself: Did the person intentionally wound, or did I perceive the intent? Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between the two, but by extending grace you sustain forward motion.


Fear is an emotion that both paralyzes and ignites action. Some people are so afraid they are frozen, unable to make decisions or move forward. On the other hand, some make rash decisions because of fear and later regret those decisions.

You defeat fear every time you exercise your faith muscle, trusting God for wisdom and next steps.


Anxiety and fear work in tandem. Anxiety is that tight, uncomfortable feeling that makes you wish you could control your life. Anxiety is an emotion that will take over if you allow it. When anxious thoughts creep in, pray. Ask God to help you trust him, believe he will protect you, and experience his peace.


Envy is one of those emotions that sneaks up on us. We think we’re not jealous, but then someone gains recognition, or is chosen instead of you, and jealousy flares like a spark to dry wood.

Jealousy makes us miserable. We all have different strengths and varied opportunities. Balance this emotion by rejoicing with others when they receive acclaim, and then enjoying your blessings when it’s your turn.


Some amount of sadness is normal for everyone and usually results from loss or disappointment. When you are sad because someone died or a relationship ended, don’t run from the sadness. Acknowledge your feelings and work through them. To get beyond sadness, realize you’re not always going to feel this way. Disappointments and loss are part of life, but instead of ruminating on sadness, look ahead.

We’re all sad at times, but if you feel sad most of the time, discuss this with your doctor.


 Sometimes, we allow the hard things in life to overshadow joy. But times of joy are a gift that should be fully experienced. Recognize times of peace and contentment and enjoy them. Rejoice when your family is together, when you have uninterrupted time with friends, or during times of leisure and travel.

God intended for us to enjoy life and provides numerous opportunities to experience joy.

When you manage your emotions, you grow spiritually, strengthen relationships, and prepare for all God has planned for you in the future.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV).


Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

To receive Candy’s blog, Forward Motion, via email, go to https://candyarrington.com/blog/ and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up.



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