Can I control my emotions, or do my emotions control me?
Emotions are not bad, but they are not the best guide for life. It is not just my “mind” either – because logic and false thinking can lead someone astray just as easily. God (and His Word) is the only perfect Guide for life.
In this chapter, a lot of proverbs talk about the danger of emotions that get out of control, especially anger. Mockers get a whole town angry – drama is all around them (v.8). Fools vent their anger and don’t hold back (v.11), and speak without thinking (v.20). Angry people start fights and all sorts of sin (v.22), and a lot of problems come from pride (v.23). Pride, gossip, anger, words – these all come from emotions and thoughts that run out of control.
In my life, the only thing that has calmed the storm inside my soul has been the relentless love of God. When I feel the injustice of the world, I remember what He went through, and His unquenchable love for me – and I can find peace. When I have the peace that comes from His love, I can share that peace with others – even when they have wronged me, offended me, or just been downright rude to me – and even seek to help them see WHY they are doing these things to someone else (because of the storm raging inside of them, without His peace). I believe this is God’s plan for peace on earth – to calm the storms inside of us so we hurt each other less, and forgive each other more.