We want to see how the Bible looks at the mind and how we can be effect in maintaining emotional balance as Christians.
II Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
God never wanted us to be bound up in fear, but he provides a way have emotional balance.
Isaiah 26:1-3 In that day shall this song be sung…We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
David wasn’t looking to his own wisdom but to God and his judgment or of thinking. The enemy will use anything to gum up our thoughts. We need to beware of how he works. How can we keep our thoughts and meditation acceptable?
Psalm 19:9-14 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired…than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
The prefrontal cortex (PFC) of the brain is our command center. The left brain deals with logic, details, and reasoning. The right brain controls emotions and intuition. When we become rigid about things, it’s the left brain that’s in control. Being aware of our emotional state is half the battle of keeping our thoughts and meditation acceptable. When both sides of our brain work together, or are integrated, we act in a balanced way. Being aware of when we feel either very emotional or very rigid will help us get back to balance in the middle.
Using the analogy of a lifeguard, the lifeguard usually rescues first, calms the person, and then instructs them about safety. We can do the same thing with those around us where we meet their emotional state first. We then calm them and wait to provide instruction or discussion when they are better able to hear us. God doesn’t keep us from having emotional storms in our life, but he will calm our emotions and then he can teach us.
Psalm 107:28-29 Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
Paul taught us about how to think so we have peace in our mind or emotional state.
Philippians 4:7-8 And the peace of God…shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally…, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Dr. Dan Siegel describes a Wheel of Awareness in his book, The Whole Brain Child. It shows the prefrontal cortex of the brain as the command center in the wheel’s hub. We often record things in our brain differently that those around us. It doesn’t mean we’re right or wrong. Being aware of these differences can help us stay in Philippians 4:8, thinking on “things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” We can’t take everything as set in stone that we feel, remember, perceive or think. We often make a first draft when something happens. The first draft may not be accurate. Memories can be distorted. Triggers can shut down our command center so our perceptions can be inaccurate. If we’re not staying in Philippians 4:8, it could be because our thoughts, feelings, memories, perceptions, and triggers are affecting our emotional state.
We’ll have a hard time being taught or teaching someone if the person is in an emotional melt down. Jesus rescued Peter, calmed his emotional storm, and then taught him. When a person is in emotional melt down, they are totally in the right side brain or emotional thinking state. When the right side emotional brain works together with the left side logical brain, we’re integrated by the prefrontal temporal control center of the brain. We can then think like Paul said.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Helene Goble)