Can you finish that verse?
Out of the overflow of the heart...the mouth speaks.
I was reminded of this recently but for a not-so-happy reason. What was the reason? It became abundantly clear that the overflow of my heart was...discouraged...bitter...confused...frustrated. You can imagine what kind of words flowed from a heart in that state. Not godly ones, that's for sure. And the words left possibly irreversible damage.
So let me tell you how I screwed up and what I learned.
Well, let's see...I released some toxic words. The toxic words came from a toxic heart. And how did the heart get so toxic? Because I took some feelings and I fed every ounce of sinfulness that I could to them. I stewed. I fussed. I fumed. Those feelings were spun round and round in my head until they had grown to epic proportions. I had repeated conversations in my head regarding the situation, conversations where I was, of course, the victor. So let's just add some self-righteousness and pride into the mix because of that.
Thankfully God loves me enough to not allow me to stay in that place.
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”(Hebrews 12:5-6 ESV)
First of all, I learned that it is impossible to keep a pure heart if you don't take every thought captive. I had feelings of discouragement, of bitterness, of sadness, of anger and I completely let them turn into thoughts. I should have stopped those thoughts at the door of my mind. By allowing those thoughts to have free reign, I ended up crucifying a person's entire character until that person was a false image of their true being.
What kind of thoughts about your husband do you freely let enter your mind? Do you rehash every argument, meditate on hurtful words, ruminate on decisions you didn't agree on, repeat his sins to yourself on a regular basis, over and over? Those thoughts - if not taken captive - will not stay *just* thoughts. They will change your heart towards your husband.
Secondly, I learned that not only must I take every thought captive, but I must choose to dwell in the shelter of the Most High. Because when I'm resting in the shadow of the Almighty, I will see through His eyes, not my own sin-jaded eyes. I will see myself for who I am - a sinner in need of grace - and I will see other people for who they are - sinners in need of grace. I can remember that if you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.
How can you change those bitter, resentful, unfair, negative thoughts about your husband? What can you replace them with? What does he do well? What do you love about him? Can you reconsider the possibility that his motives for actions may not have been as evil as you originally thought? Can you make allowances for differences? Can you allow your love to overlook an offense?
Thirdly, I learned that I do not have to react to every emotion that I feel and allow it to control me.
My feelings on the soul level will tug and jerk and pull all over. But God is constant, and he put his Spirit within me...I don't have to live in a state of reacting to whatever my emotions tell me. I can make choices based on the truth and watch as my emotions change. The feelings will eventually change so I can experience the freedom that is mine...As long as I am trapped in the duality of my soul, I will continue to believe the lie that I am what I do, that I cannot act contrary to how I feel. (Emily Freeman, Grace for the Good Girl, p.212-213)I'm thankful for lessons. I'm thankful for a God who patiently teaches us. I'm thankful that this is all part of progressive sanctification and that he who began a good work in [me] will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Can you bring your emotions under the control of the Holy Spirit instead of letting them have free reign? Can you make choices to act differently than how you feel?