How to Keep Your Emotions in Check – Deborah Pegues
It’s too easy to let emotions get the best of us…maybe even control us! On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Deborah Pegues offers the tools you need to keep those emotions in check so that your relationships can remain healthy. From keeping God in the mix to managing your schedule and stress level to dealing with demanding people, you’ll learn how to keep your emotions in check and abide in God’s peace.
saying no is okay. And here’s what I’d like to say. The bible talks about serving the Lord with gladness. And when I get to the point where my serving him has caused me to say yes so much that I am not glad about it anymore. I’m mad about it. So I don’t want to serve God to madness. I want to serve God as long as I can be glad about it because it’s in alignment with his will. I have the piece about it. Welcome to the focus on the family. Broadcast, helping families thrive John it is so easy to let emotions get the best of us. I don’t know why you can be a Christian for 2030 years and really never get on top of that emotional equation. Think for a minute for example, we encounter a situation with a co worker that riles us up or we see a friend post a picture from a beautiful resort in in the creeps in or we lose our cool with our kids or maybe our spouse and you’re sitting there beating yourself up going, I should know better. I shouldn’t take the bait here at focus on the family. We want to provide those tools for you. You know, one way to think of focus is just a giant treasure chest of resources for just about anything you’re gonna encounter in your family situation. So we’re here for you. Just need to let us know that you’re there and we’ll do everything we can to help you. So call us at the number, john will give in a little bit. uh emotions are a good thing. I think God is an emotional God. Look at the old testament. The new testament. God is a god of emotions. He created those emotions. But we have to order them and we have to put them under submission to his leadership. Right? And our friend Deborah Peg A is going to help us learn how to do that perhaps more effectively than we’ve ever done before. And I’m looking forward to more of God’s peace and contentment in my life. Well, this is gonna be a great conversation. Deborah is a popular guest here at focus on the family and she’s a certified behavioral consultant, a Bible teacher, an international speaker and is also a best selling author. We’ll be talking today about one of her. I think it’s 18 books. It’s called 30 days to taming your emotions, discover the calm, confident carrying you get your copy from us here at the ministry. The link is in the show notes or give us a call. 800 the letter A and the word Family. Deborah, welcome back to focus. Thank you so much. I’m so glad to be here. It’s always good to have you. I love your smile and your wit and your sarcasm. See, I love sarcasm. But you said that’s something we need to control it really, really well, maybe just some much fun. But anyway, you are the behavioral consultant. So let me ask you why is it so easy for us to kind of let go of the reins when it comes to our emotions and we let our emotions drive us well. But jim wouldn’t have been great if God had just created only one emotion. We’re just happy. That be great. That would be great. But we’re not robots so we really should be delighted that God has given us the that range of expression where we can be happy or sad or it makes us have a quality life. And so I’m glad that he did. And don’t you think there’s a bit of learning in that? Right? So we have a range that God allows us to go to. Absolutely. So we can stumble. Yeah. So he could say that’s not quite the way I’d like you to handle that and you know, I believe God created us in such a way to do we need him and we need him to control our emotions. And even before we get started remember that emotions follow motion sometimes when you’re dealing with an emotion, if you just get in motion you get moving towards the opposite of a negative emotion. You’ll find yourself really enjoying this, this whole process. This ability to express pleasure. Yeah. Let me, you know, being a man, you gotta grab me by the face and give me that example. What are you talking about? Well you see I had one of my emotions that I had coming here because you know we’re here in Colorado Springs, we have to fly into Denver my least favorite airport in the world and so I was getting anxious even about coming because I had heard that you had had severe winds and so this emotion was just taken just getting the best of me. So that’s why I just decided to go back to what I teach. I have some foundational beliefs that I’m going to use to control frame my emotions. Yeah, you say in the book, one of the good things to do is to regularly connect with God and prayer and you use an acronym to do that. What’s the acronym of the acronym is P. R. A. Y pray? Okay, that makes sense. Yeah, that makes sense easy. So here it is the PS four paws, we gotta take time and listen. We’re all so busy, we gotta take time to just stop all activity and focus completely on God and his ability, his power. When I sit here and think about that, that inside of me, I have the spirit of this almighty God who is always present all powerful and knows everything. See so so that takes down some of the emotions, especially when I’m dealing with anxiety. So we have to pray, I know everybody so we know we have to pray and we know that, but how many people stop and pray, you know, we pray on the run, we don’t stop, you know, and God wants that undivided attention you know, you can always yes you can exercise and pray but when you stop and absorb his presence you’re gonna have a different mindset. But the R is for reverence, express your admiration for all of God’s attributes. Lord, I just thank you. You’re just present. I just thank you. I I stopped and reverence who he is. So many of us bring God down to our level. That’s why we are anxious most of the time. It’s like here’s the problem and I can’t figure it out. So I assume he can’t figure it out either. But I stop and remember that nothing is too hard for you. And then I ask I ask I asked for what I want. We can ask. We can’t assume that God doesn’t care. He cares about every aspect. I ask forgiveness for my sins. I asked for his will to be done. I asked for guidance. I ask and then the y is for yield. I’m gonna I’m gonna submit that request to God. I’m not gonna say let let let I’m gonna say father nevertheless not my will but yours because I don’t really know what’s best for me. I just know what I want. That is so good. I mean that will bring you peace right there. You can actually talking about it. Yeah of course prayer is so crucial that staying connected with God and it seems pretty obvious but what role does self care now because you know, jesus himself separated from the needs of the moment, he got away from the crowds and we don’t, we think of self care as being selfish that you know if you need to take a break or you can’t say yes to everything because I’ll tell you what working in ministry, it’ll take everything, you give it 24 7 and you’ve got to stop and say okay, I need to spend more time with my family, my marriage myself, so speak to self care and the importance and jesus modeled it, I love it and Mark one when they came to him and he had been ministering all night healing, healing people and all of that and they came to him while he was praying, he’d gotten up early and they said everybody is looking for you and I love it when he says, but he says, but he said the scriptures say that I gotta go into the next towns to preach, you know, I’m done with the healing because I know what my priority is. And even when the disciples came to him after they had been out and they had done a lot of wonderful things and his response was you need to go and take a break it says because they had no time for leisure, I couldn’t believe the word leisure was in the king James version of the bible, he said they had no leisure and some of us who are go go, go performance oriented always got to be achieving. We don’t take leisure. Leisure is Godly. And that’s why self care. It really isn’t selfish. As you said, it’s about honoring God with this body that he’s given us a limited ability to do things in the flesh. And I have to be reminded all the time of that because I just like to keep charging at it, right? But Debra, I was going to ask you about that because one of the points you make is sleep to be able to get sleep. You struggle with that. I still appreciate the openness of that. So what what are some things personally that you found that that help or don’t help with sleep? Well, what I find that it doesn’t help is that I’m more short with people, I want to eat more because my body is craving to be renewed and I give it food instead of asleep and so it’s just detrimental, physically spiritually. I’m more short with people when I’m not rested. Um, everybody’s in slow motion to me when I’m sleepy. Everybody’s stupid when I’m sleepy. Why can’t they think of that? What’s it like? Duh? You know, and it’s really just me needing some rest and so we’re gonna have to stop and and understand that rest is Godly. That’s why leaders have to model that we belong to a church once where the pastors took off often they were off to hawaii off to this place and they say we’re sending our love, we have an assistant pastor. You know, they’ve delegated, they’re not so insecure that everybody’s gonna love the assistant pastor more than them and and and go away with him or whatever. So we have to be be God honoring in that and know that is Godly self care is Godly and especially for women, What’s for men too. But women who just feel like they just got to constantly give to the kids this they take no time for themselves. And I would, I would assume you’re also saying, you know, everything’s in balance. You don’t want to, you can’t do that overboard. You’ve got to be engaged if it’s all leisure, you’re not in the Lord’s will either taking care of yourself. Absolutely. But but those of us who are quote quote ambitious rather than sometimes just being gold and God is saying we tend to go the other out. You know, one of the things for me and I’m grateful my son Trent has really gotten into working out, which really sparked me to get involved too. And so I’ve been for the last four or five years, I’m able to get in three or four times a week to work out, which has been good. I don’t do much cardio. I’m more in the weight category weightlifting category, which I love but Jimmy, even if you do it for five minutes. So sometimes we think we need to wait till we have an hour to work out a 30 minutes to work out. Listen, I went out for a seven minute walk this morning because there’s something to getting that oxygen to your brain. You’re going to have a better mindset, you know, to just get out there and breathe some fresh air and it’s good to get into the habit. And that’s the hard part you mentioned in the book. Other people can affect our stress level and I think it relates to what you’re saying in terms of prioritization, but how have you learned to deal with other people that are affecting your stress level and then affecting your priorities because of that. Well, um again, we don’t want to disappoint people because we don’t listen when I talk about fear and I wrote a book on fear, but one of our biggest fears is alienation. So we don’t want people that we don’t want to be alienated from people. So we say yes when we really want to say no. Yes, that’s correct. Yeah. Yeah. You have to know what’s working in you when you do that. So I don’t I don’t say yes when I want to say no, I have a favorite phrase that I use. I have another commitment. I’m sorry, I haven’t the commitment. That doesn’t mean I have another appointment. I have a commitment and the commitments to myself, right, I’ve made a commitment to myself into my marriage, that I’m going to balance this thing out and we’re going to come into agreement Darnell and I will come into agreement before I go running off on a schedule. That’s, you know, people, people honoring and not God, not God. You know, again, one of the things that sometimes we as christians and I think christian women particularly can load a lot of guilt onto themselves because they’re not saying yes enough. I mean, that’s what summer is saying right now. You know that man say no, I’ve I’ve not said yes enough to my pastor who’s asking me to volunteer for this or my husband’s, you know, wanting me to do this on the weekend. So how do you find the right balance to say to understand that saying no is okay saying no is okay. And here’s what I like to say that the bible talks about serving the Lord with gladness and when I get to the point where my serving him has caused me to say yes so much that I am not glad about it anymore. I’m mad about it. So I don’t want to serve God to madness. I want to serve God as long as I can be glad about it because it’s in alignment with his will. I have the piece about it. I’m not fearing your rejection, your alienation and therefore I don’t, I don’t want most people think if they say no to the pastor there saying no to God. When I had a pastor say, listen, I just keep piling it on until they say uncle until until they say that’s enough. I and most people won’t say that some people would just church. I’ve talked to people who have left the church because they worked them too much. I never got a chance to come into the service. I was busy with the Children’s Church. Well, you could have just said this is as much as I can handle or do it for a season, six months, whatever and then let somebody else take that boundaries are Godly. Well, there’s some great insight from Deborah Peg. We’ll hear more in just a moment. Let me say you’re watching focus on the family and your host is Jim Daly. Deborah’s book is available from us here at the ministry. It’s called 30 days to taming your emotions, discover the calm, confident carrying you as you can tell. She really does a great job of weaving scripture and insights and some personal stories together in this book, Call us today. Our number is 800 the letter A and the word Family 802 326459. Or check the program notes for the link Deborah, I want to talk about a word that may press some buttons to the listeners and viewers and that’s the word tolerance in some circles, tolerance has become a religion unto itself, that we have to be tolerant of all things to really achieve our ability to embrace everyone. But there’s a real specific definition of tolerance in the way christians should embrace it. What is it jim? I want to read specifically from my book on page 83 tolerance is not about agreeing to embrace differences. It’s about accepting every person’s God given right as a free moral agent to believe as he wishes. Tolerance is not acceptance, tolerance is just giving you space to believe what you believe. Absolutely. Why wouldn’t we be tolerant? God is tolerant of us, even though we even when we’re out of alignment with his word, all all souls of mine, the soul that sins is gonna die. You know, we don’t we don’t have to beat people up. And so when we say we tolerate that there’s there’s so much going on in our society that I have no agreement with, but I don’t have to hate the person, I can dislike the behavior disapprove the behavior. I don’t even need to say I disapprove your behavior because you know what God has put a conscious in everybody and I believe that everybody who does wrong, they know it do. I need to remind them so I can just love them. I can do what a christian does just as jesus did the woman caught in adultery. I can he said go and sin no more. He didn’t say, well that’s okay, that’s okay. they have been mean to you. But come on that’s okay. He didn’t say that’s okay. He said go and sin no more. So we have to, when I say tolerate, I want everybody to understand this, we’re not condoning it’s just accepting your right to be different and I want you to respect my my right to be different as well. And I think that’s what’s missing in our culture right now. And I think that’s such a great part of the conversation. So often we miss to express where someone’s at and then to say you know what I think I know a better way. Yeah. And his name is jesus and you might want to start looking at and some and sometimes they just need to know that you care. First. I remember talking to a woman who was in the abortion industry and she came into my office and she was shaking and I asked her why she was so fearful and she said well somebody said you’re gonna put a voodoo hex on me. I mean I laughed as well and I said what do you know about christians? And she said, all I know is you want to kill us. I said you know, I can honestly tell you, I don’t know a single person that wants that. And I said do you mind if I take a few minutes just to tell you what we believe as christians. She said I wish you would. No one’s ever taken the time to tell. That’s so good because I’ve seen is the is the meanness christians being a part of being negative like that. You know you can do that. We were celebrating our 43rd anniversary at a restaurant and the young man said and we told him anniversary and he said I’ve been with my lady, we lived together for 13 years or whatever it was. And I said and he said because it’s just a piece of paper and I said actually it’s not when you want a relationship that God can bless. We told him how good God has been to us and how peaceful the marriage had been for the most part. And and and he said I said, when you when you just love a relationship that God could honor and really lie yourself up to be blessed by him and and and I could tell he said I’m going to consider that. But it was all in love and concern. One of the things I’ve come up with when you read the new testament and you’re going, okay, what are the big billboards that the Lord what message is he trying to get across to us? There’s really two in my mind, one is salvation through christ and christ alone and don’t become a pharisee right. I mean those are like blinking neon signs the message of the new testament. But we so miss the second one we were pretty good. On the first one, jesus christ is the way? But on the second one, we don’t even realize how we look down on other people that don’t think the way we think. And we look down on them because again, they’re saying it’s not my sin, right? Yeah. I’ve got control of that. I told I tell a story in the book about a woman who I know I saw bounced checks and she was one of the best dressed women in the church. And I thought I’m so glad I’m not like that. So how do we get an upper hand on that to be more christ like which again, christ warned us don’t do that. Don’t be like them? Well, anytime we’re putting ourselves in a superior position, we know that that’s not God. That’s that’s just we just say, I know the word is Godly, that’s not God. When I grew up, we say that’s not God. You know, we we gotta understand when we’re judging in a way that’s not really discern between right and wrong and what we should be doing. But we’re really condemning people. We’re putting ourselves in a superior position, that’s why I don’t even like to use the word. Um you should because that immediately puts me in a superior position. My men told me even talking to my husband? She said, don’t say you should say, Have you considered? Yeah. Have you considered this or that? How do we take captive these feelings of intolerance and judgment and self righteousness. I mean that’s a practice that a christian should be doing every day because it creeps in every day. It does. And we talk about the bible talks about this. Casting down those kind of imaginations first you have to acknowledge that you do that. You know, you have to acknowledge that you do it that it’s not right. And you began to cast down imaginations. What does that, what do I mean by cast down in imagination? Don’t tolerate thoughts that take you down that path, that path of superiority. That path of condemning other people. Don’t allow yourself to think like that. You can halt the thought, hey, that rhymes, you can halt a thought. Yeah, you just need to stop and say, I’m not going to think about that. I’m going to think about the fact that I am what I am by the grace of God, that he has worked in me a desire to want to do the right thing that comes from God that doesn’t emanate from my flesh, in our own heart, our own flesh. We don’t necessarily always want to do the right thing. But I have to recognize even the fact that I want to serve God with passion, then that comes from God and I have to give other people the grace the grace, you know not like I mean like, you know, I’m not just like flying, batting 1000 but I’m batting 1000 in some areas and zero and others. And so I have to realize that we always ignore other people’s act. That’s why we need each other. I need your strength. There’s something you do well that I don’t do well. And so how do we get control of that? Cast down those imaginations? Yeah, it’s so good. And you know, one of the things Deborah in today’s culture, when you look at things like envy and strife and jealousy, social media has done so much to um exponentially lift those nasty things up in our own flesh and our own heart, both christian and non christian were affected by it. So how do we, how do we approach that whole social media thing? Well you have to understand what it is because it can be a tool of goodness if you can spread the word. But everybody puts their best foot forward on social media. One day I took a picture when I first woke up and I had with no makeup or nothing and I took a picture and I said, okay, here’s a challenge. I want everybody to post your first thing in the morning picture. Somebody sent me a note. They said, are you okay? That’s not what you do, what you do. I’m thinking like every part of me wants to defy what the world is doing. I really, I don’t want to love the world, but I understand that social media can generate a lot of envy because everybody’s life looks so perfect. Well You gotta know what God has done in your life. There are lots of things I probably want and I see people who have 30 million followers and I’m like, I don’t feel like doing social media because it takes time for my being with Darnell or other things that I want to do. So I don’t do it a lot, I just don’t do it. But here’s the thing, I don’t let that spirit of envy getting me because envy is rooted in discontentment. The bible says Godliness with contentment is great gain. I’m gonna be so much farther ahead if I don’t get sucked into this thing of not being content because if I, if I can talk and walk and I have and I and I have the faculties, I have the ability to come here, I have a whole bunch of things going for me. There are other things I’ve been on a diet since jesus left, but I’m but but I’m not gonna let that diminish my life for somebody is on their opposing, they got the great built built body and all that. I’m going to keep my life in perspective. Debra’s wrapping up. I think some practical um answers are really helpful for folks, so I need to ask what are some of the ways we can embrace contentment and have a more positive Godly outlook on the life he’s given us. We only get one, we can be intentional and listing those things that we have. That listening are blessings. That sounds trite. But listen, if you just at the end of the day, say what good things happened today, You know, God has kept death away from our doors. God has given me food. God has given me water. I don’t have to walk and get it the way they do in africa. I can just turn on the shower and even though gas is high, can still buy gas and I and I go to a church that teaches the word there are any number of things. So just on a daily basis, just write down two or three things that you are so grateful for because that’s the antidote to being ungrateful and all that is just be, just be grateful. Just be grateful. And some other things you can do, don’t hang around people who complain a lot. I always put people on a complaining fast. Don’t complain and don’t hang around other people who do or when they do, you counter it. You just counter for wives and for husbands. I mean when we’re with each other, right? When guys are with their guy friends and wives are with their wives friends, yeah, you can really denigrate your spouse so you can do that. You shouldn’t do that. I had a special session with some women on sunday and I talk about don’t talk about what he doesn’t have. If you if your husband doesn’t make a ton of money, don’t talk about whose husband does. You know if he brings his check home, he’s good to you, He’s kind he’s helpful, he’s supportive. Why would you make him feel bad about something? He can’t change. What is that’s not wise. That’s not wise. The bible says a wise woman builds our home. You know, foolish. Wanna plug it up with our own hands. So you gotta be conscious think about what you’re thinking about because out of those thoughts are gonna come your words and as I said at the beginning, build a strong biblical foundation. There’s nothing like that. Is this an alignment with the word of God is my thinking and alignment? Am I not grateful? Am I sitting over here discontent because somebody else just built a bigger house. That’s not cast that down. Yeah. In fact, the last thing I’ll ask you is about peace. Another acronym. So how do you apply piece to get peace? Well, you know, I’m full of acronyms today. So that’s good. Here’s how here’s how we pursue peace and that’s P. E. A. C. E. Prioritize every aspect of your life, according to God’s word, what does that mean? Make sure every aspect of your life the physical, the relational the emotional, even the financial, you can have peace when you know, I’m doing this according to the word of God, I’m paying my ties, I’m giving I’m doing all of that and that’s gonna set you at peace because the bible says righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Alright, expect that’s the peace, expect less from people and more from God. That’s a good. That’s that’s how you have to expect less from people and more from God. A acknowledge God. And all your decisions don’t just up and do something acknowledge God. God. Is this what you want me to do? I’m listening and I’m at that nevertheless point, whatever you say, it’s gonna be fine with me. See is cultivate an attitude of contentment, cultivate that you have to grow into that. You don’t just come here content because every commercial is going to tell you that you lack something. And finally, The E is eliminate the unrighteous nous, eliminate sin from the life because again, if you want peace again from psalm 85, righteousness and peace have kissed each other. There’s a divine connection between doing the right thing and having the peace of God Deborah. This is so good in the book, 30 days detaining your emotions. You can digest this fairly quickly. It’s pithy and thought but brief in words and it’s such a great read. So I would hope people would get a copy of this wonderful resource. I mean, you’ve heard Deborah’s heart and she’s just oozing with wisdom to help you live your life in such a way that honors the Lord in in your spirit, in your emotions especially and and even your physical uh, you know, worship toward the Lord. So this is terrific. Deborah, thanks for being with us. And of course we want to get this resource in your hands. So just make a commitment to focus, join us in ministry monthly or one time gift. And we’ll send it as our way of saying thank you for being part of the team. And let me add that we have carrying christian counselors here on staff at focus on the family. Uh, they’re made possible by donors who contribute on a regular basis to the ministry. Those counselors are available to you. We can set up a free initial consultation over the phone. Uh, it all begins with a phone call to us, our numbers 800 the letter A and the word family or check the program notes for details about connecting with a counselor, getting a copy of this great book and making a donation to focus on the family and on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here. Thanks for joining us today. For focus on the family. I’m john fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in christ