Each Thursday, Kayse Pratt and I are reading through Unglued. This week we are on Chapter Five: Exploders.
There were so many things I loved about this chapter, and I can’t cover them all, so I hope you read it! I highlighted every other word it seems. This week was about exploders, ones who shame their selves and ones who blame others.
“That’s what makes raw emotions so complicated. They come from out of nowhere and run us slap-over.”
Amen? Amen. I’m sure we can all thing of an incidence in which we’ve been run over by our own emotions. Will we act on them before we’ve sought the Lord? Will we then regret our actions and sit in shame and embarrassment? Will we regret our actions because we were “forced” by someone else to react that way? These questions seem silly when posed this way, but that’s pretty much what we often do – unfortunately.
Lysa is talking about a particular situation in which she decides to check her email first, but this is solid advance for any situation:
“Do not check in with the screaming demands of the world before you exchange whispers with God.”
Ouch. Unfortunately, we often crave the things of this world before we crave God and that’s what gets us into these emotional frazzles in the first place! Oh that we may long for him first and foremost. I know firsthand that it matters what place we give God. The Author and Creator gives order to our own instabilities.
“Feelings are indicators, not dictators.”
We have a choice as how we react to others. Although difficult, self-control is vital. I really liked the point she made that “the one who holds the tongue holds the power.” And that if it is our own children that cause us to come unglued, we are in essence giving them the power, and who wants to purposefully put themselves in a place where they are less mature than their kids or allow the kids to be the dominant one simply because you lost it? As I mentioned in an earlier post, it is good to find a verse of Scripture that speaks to your struggle or insecurity, and then meditate on it, memorize it, or at the very least, have it available and easy to locate when you need it.
Keep moving toward imperfect progress. I know I am. How about you?
- Identify your own weak areas and tendencies when it comes to your emotions.
- Remember to seek soul integrity – a balance between honesty and peacemaking.
- Give grace when you “surely could have done otherwise.”
- Carefully consider the words you speak.
- Consider crafting a personal response template that you can personalize to individual situations.
- For the weak areas you identify, find a verse that relates to it and write it on a card you can carry with you and look at it when you need it.
- Find the quiet.
- Read Chapter 6 for next week.
I’m so glad to be on this journey with you friends!
Basically, I highlighted this whole chapter. And technically I’m not even an exploder.
(Hey, want to find out what kind of Unglued YOU are? You can take a quick assessment here: Unglued Assessment)
Honestly, this book has been convicting my mainly in my relationship with my husband. With him, I can be all types. While I always start out as a Stuffer Who Builds Barriers (yes ma’am, that’s me!), I can easily be worked into an exploder. On many levels. So I have so many thoughts about this chapter that I just have to organize them into list form. Don’t groan, you know you love it.
- “The raw emotions will come. And when they do, they won’t sit quietly awaiting further instructions. They’ll move–outward if we explode and inward if we stuff.” Sigh. I’m not usually one to shy away from emotions. But reading this, I realized I have been guilty of not giving weight to each one. I try often to convince myself that things aren’t important, that I’m not hurt that badly, but I end up stuffing until I explode. It’s so important for me to realize that emotions are there and can’t just be wished away. We have to handle them with honesty and self-control.
- “Do not check in with the screaming demands of the world before you exchange whispers with God.” This is sinking in more and more as I’m reading through the Bible in 90 days. I crave that quiet time with God in the mornings, and I feel it in my soul when it’s missed. I need Him is I have any hope of getting through the day with any good decisions made. And that’s just the truth.
- “The secret to healthy conflict resolution isn’t taking a you-against-me stance, but realizing that it’s all of us against Satan–he’s the real enemy.” This idea that Satan’s on one side of the scale and we’re all on the other, making our side even more weighty when we dump hurt on each other, is one that I need to remember every single day. Especially in my marriage. Jon always says we’re a team, and even when we were dating, we would high five and say “Go Team!” and laugh. smile But it’s true. We are a team. Even in an argument, he’s never my enemy.
- “Reactions are typically harsh words used to prove how wrong the other person is. No good ever comes from this.” I react. A lot. And mostly it’s because a) I think I’m right, and b) I want to get the conversation over and done with so the conflict will stop. And it never works.
- “Choosing a gentle reply doesn’t mean you’re weak; it actually means you possess a rare and godly strength.” Really, I just need to write this on my bathroom mirror, my fridge, my closet, and anywhere else I look every day. Emily’s forehead, maybe.
- “…It isn’t my job to fix [the other person] with my reply. That’s God’s job. My job is to be obedient to God in the midst of my own set of issues.” I’m not a fan of other people trying to “fix” me. But still, I try to fix others. Not outrightly, but sneakily, with my words, my suggestions, my hints. This never works either, nor does it make my husband feel like I respect or admire him. Fail. (Imperfect progress…just working on imperfect progress!)
- “Without divine communication people cast off restraint.” Meaning it’s tough, if not impossible, to exercise any self-control in a situation without meeting with God first, however briefly. Also one for the mirror.
- “We must spend time with God, letting His truths become part of who we are and how we live.” This is the heart of it. Apart from God, no good exists, even in me. I must be connected to Him on a daily basis if I ever hope to make any progress in this (or any!) area. The great thing is that when I go to Him, He has everything I need. And more. What a gracious God we serve!!