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Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Effects & Affectations of Life

In this life, there is much that causes stress, but it doesn't have to! It's much easier said than done, but when something happens to us that we don't particularly like, we always have a choice as to whether we'll let it get us down, or let it become the wind beneath our wings & just soar with it. Whatever occurs to us is going to affect us & sometimes it seems we don't have a choice as to how it does, but we do have a choice as to how we are going to face those effects. Will we bow under the load, or will we bravely face the storm, even riding it out to our destination, using it to the best effect?

Sometimes, we become stolid, in our own minds thinking that we can handle whatever life throws at us. We like to think, especially depending on the Strength of our Heavenly Father, that we can forge ahead without being affected by all the meanness, sadness & brokenness around us, but we weren't built that way! We were made with emotions & being made that way, it is not wrong to listen to our emotions. Now, some people are ruled by their emotions; they're not a toy & they are a fragile thing: we must take great care how & when we choose to let our emotions flow & affect our actions!

Of late, it has become abundantly clear to this blogger just how much of an emotional creature he is & that this is not necessarily a bad thing! Now, again, we must be very careful with our emotions & not let them overrule our common-sense, but neither should we stifle them to the point that we become apathetic ( uncaring ). Letting emotions rule our life ( actions ) is not wise, although it seems that more & more people are doing this very thing; that's probably one reason why we have so many failed marriages! One could even make an arguable case for this being the deciding factor in the cancer we call abortion. In fact, one might say that emotions, including the love of money, is the root of all kinds of evil!

No, just because I said that emotions are the root of all kinds of evil doesn't mean that I believe that emotions are evil, or wrong, though some are! Not all emotions are wrong; some are completely good & wholesome. For instance, the emotion that one might feel toward a member of the opposite sex or even the same sex, while not necessarily wrong in a certain situation, in the wrong context would be very wrong indeed, a great evil! On the other hand, an emotion like empathy, which helps us to be considerate of the feelings of others, is normally a good thing. It helps us to get through life, although at times it seems more of a burden!

Emotions are a funny thing; they can lead us into great evil or they can help us make up our minds to do good! They are a fragile thing & we must be careful how we let them affect us. Emotions are akin to feelings; they change like the weather. The choice is always before us; will we let our emotions decide our course of action, will we allow our feelings to rule us & determine what affect we will have on those around us, or will we, without denying or feelings or emotions, let wisdom chart our course? Despite our emotions, we can act according to what we know is right, rather than acting according to our feelings!

It is tempting, when emotions like empathy gain a foothold in our inmost being, to stifle those feelings & ignore them, trying to pretend we're stronger than that! Sometimes this almost works, to whatever extent & for however long, but sooner or later, those emotions will reach the boiling point & bubbling to the surface, will cause such a storm as we may find it hard to weather! It is best to let our emotions affect our actions to the point that we act rightly, but when our emotions or feelings make us want to do what is wrong, then we should reign in those feelings & remind ourselves that we are to rule over our emotions, not the other way around!

Life is full of ups & downs! When we are on an emotional high, it's very easy to forget ourselves & let them carry us away to somewhere we might later regret, but with a certain wisdom, we may choose to dissect our feelings to the point that we can clearly see where such a path would take us. Emotions are not a bad thing, though; sometimes, we just have to bypass what we know as 'common-sense' & just go with our feelings; they're not always wrong!

Charles Haddon Shank



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