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Emotional Stability

Emotional Stability by Elizabeth George

I want to pass on to you one of our family’s favorite devotionals from the Our Daily Bread series. The morning Jim read it at the breakfast table, my daughter Katherine drew five stars and wrote the word “Mom” on it. That day was May 17, 1982—a red-letter day for our family. Maybe this will help you, too. 

A woman developed a very serious throat condition. The doctor prescribed medication but told her that her vocal cords needed total rest—no talking for six months!
With a husband and six children to care for, it seemed an impossible order, but she cooperated. When she needed the youngsters, she blew a whistle. Instructions became written memos, and questions were answered on pads of paper she had placed around the house.
The six months passed, and after she recovered, her first comments were quite revealing. She said that the children had become quieter, and then remarked, “I don’t think I’ll ever holler again like I used to.”
When asked about the notes, she replied, “You’d be surprised how many, written hastily, I crumpled up and threw into the wastebasket before I gave them to anyone to read. Seeing my words before anyone heard them had an effect that I don’t think I can ever forget.”*

I got the message: Speak less often . . . and only after thinking about what I’m going to say. And speak only what is sweet and pleasant . . . only what is wise and kind! These are God’s guidelines for beautiful speech. 

To follow these guidelines, you and I need to be growing in emotional stability. After all, our emotional state often sets the standard and tone for our home. Here are three guidelines for gaining emotional stability so that you, too, can make your home happy. 

Master Your Tolerance

By this I mean your endurance. When I face difficult circumstances or painful times, I pray something like this:

“God, Your Word says You have already given me all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). And Your Word says I can do all things— including handle this—through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). By Your grace and through Your Spirit, I can do this. Thank You for enabling me to meet the challenge!”

With this prayer I acknowledge the marvelous resources I have in the Lord and then bear down physically and mentally and march right through what lies before me. I endeavor to quietly . . . and calmly . . . and determinedly . . . endure life’s challenges as they roll in and out.

You see, my goal—my prayer—is always that I will not give in, give up, or quit. Instead of becoming incapacitated by emotions, I want to be beautiful in God’s eyes.

Master Your Temper

I’m using temper to refer to “heat of mind” (as Webster’s says) and passion. When it comes to temper, God’s Word tells us a few things about a woman of strength. 

  • She nurtures a peaceful heart (Proverbs 14:30). 
  • She knows how to wait (Proverbs 19:2). 
  • She does not strive (Proverbs 19:11). 
  • She restrains her spirit (Proverbs 25:28). 

This description may seem impossible, but let me reassure you that God uses our faithful devotion to Him and our careful attention to His standards day by day, challenge by challenge over a lifetime to flesh out in us His divine beauty, a reflection of His image. 

I started down this path of mastering my temper by first creating a “resolutions” page in my personal prayer notebook. 

This list contained the sins I was holding up to God daily with a heart-plea for Him to help me eliminate them out of my life (Matthew 5:29-30). One such unbeautiful habit on that list read, “Stop screaming at the children.” I hope you get the picture! 

Master Your Tongue

Speaking of sins, don’t most of them involve the tongue? Blessing and cursing do indeed proceed out of the same mouth (James 3:10). Our words can either “speak like the piercings of a sword” or “promote health” (Proverbs 12:18). To bring the sparkle of God’s beauty into a home, you and I need to live out a few more wise proverbs: 

  • Speak less often (Proverbs 10:19). 
  • Speak only after we think about what we’re going to say (Proverbs 15:28). 
  • Speak only what is sweet and pleasant (Proverbs 16:21 and 24). 

Emotional stability gives every soldier in every army the invaluable ability to continue on when the going is tough, and that’s what I’m calling you to do.

Let’s commit to learn endurance, master our temper, and master our tongue—things I’ve been working towards for decades. God’s beautiful and virtuous woman is an army of virtues. Start today to persevere and turn to God to be your Helper.

RESPOND

Dear Lord, thank You for Your indwelling Spirit, who helps me persevere. May my words and actions be pleasing to You. Amen.

RENEWING RESOURCES   

Putting on a Gentle and Quiet Spirit by Elizabeth George—Discover how to handle trials and persecutions, including: suffering for doing good; understanding the mysteries of God; and fanning the flame of faith through this Bible study.

REFLECT

Is there an area you struggle in the most when it comes to emotional stability? Look up Bible verses that relate to this area and commit them to memory.

REMEMBER

Start today to persevere and turn to God to be your Helper.

*Our Daily Bread, Radio Bible Class Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI, May, 1982.

Jim and Elizabeth George

Jim and Elizabeth George are bestselling authors and national speakers dedicated to helping people live a life after God’s own heart. Together, they have written over 150 books with more than 14 million copies sold around the world. For over 35 years, the teachings and steadfast example of Elizabeth and Jim have helped countless men and women:

  • Simplify life by focusing on God’s priorities.
  • Appreciate God’s Word and apply it to everyday situations.
  • Respond to circumstances with confidence by seeing yourself through God’s loving eyes.
  • Increase closeness in marriage by serving and honoring each other.
  • Powerfully shape the hearts of children and teenagers.
  • Enjoy greater intimacy with God.

Learn more about Jim and Elizabeth George here.


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