Three Ways to Take Control of the Emotional Monsters
Sermon Video Transcription
James Greer (00:04):
Morning Journey Church. Man, I’m so glad to see my friends, Phillip, Terrell and his wife, Susan. Stand up. What really happened was she knew he needed some real church. Thank you, darling. He’s a good friend. He’s a good friend of our church. And so we’re so glad to see him. Glad to have you here, Amen? You all get your little buddy home, huh? Ashley’s about to squeeze him to death. You got to share him now. Well, man, we’ve been doing a series on the Emotional Monsters because we’ve had a monster in our life lately. Amen? Don’t forget if you haven’t signed your kids up for VBS. This Saturday is going to be fantastic. You want to be a part of it and everybody said, Amen?
James Greer (00:56):
Alright, let’s get with it. Man, it’s a little different back here, huh? You all come next Sunday. See if there’s not some changes going on, we remodeled it and it is just going to blow you away. So, you need to be here for that. We’ve been doing the Emotional Monster and it’s so important to learn, to better control our emotions and even how to overcome the wrong type of emotions, which I’m really working on. Did you know that the way we respond to our emotions affects every relationship in our life. When I was studying about emotions, one thing that I found out is most people don’t realize even what real love is. So, those that want to know what genuine love is, write it on your next step, or if you’re online, just do it and one of them would say, you want one of these that tells you what genuine love is. And because I think if you knew what genuine love is, it would help control your emotions. And you’re going to find out that love, real love is just as much an action as it is an emotion.
James Greer (02:05):
And then, Oh, and this next one, everybody needs this. If you’re here and you’re not married, it tells you the difference between love and infatuation. You need it. So, anybody who’s not married that they need that. And then the last one is surrender. Surrender is to become preoccupied and completely dependent upon Christ where lust is just the opposite. You’d be preoccupied with the wrong thing and you do the wrong thing. So, anybody that needs those charts can get them, put it on your next step card. Or you can, those that are online, let’s hear it for our online people. Amen? Woo. Yeah, there you go. Man, I knew you all were going to wake up. Anyway, anyway. We’ve got to learn to take control of our emotions. And there’s really three ways that we can help do that. We’ll get into a little bit. We’ve got to own them, we’ve got to lead them and we got to mature them. But before you do that, you’ve got to be careful. In Mark 6:52. It says this, their mine was closed.
James Greer (02:59):
In Mark 6:52. It says this, their minds were closed. Their minds was closed. So, they couldn’t understand. If you’re not careful, you come to church sometimes your mind is closed. You’re just closed to what’s going on, closed to what you’re going to be. You need to walk in. I’ve gone to different churches, different denominations, different styles of music. And I can always get something. Because I don’t go there with a close mind saying, Hey, this doesn’t fit me. I’m not going to fit in. I go there and say, Hey God, I know you have something for me and speak to me. And he speaks to me. You’ve got to be real careful about being closed minded because even in the racial issue, you got to be careful. You’ll be closed minded to that. You’ll be closed minded because you’ll think preconceived notion that, maybe that guy has money, this person didn’t, this person is black, this one is white. This one is Mexican, and this was that. And you just close your mind to them. Listen, when you close your mind to people, you’ll never be close to those people.
James Greer (03:47):
What I want you to do is, I want you to be close to God today. Amen? So, let God speak to you. There’s another verse in Luke 21:14, it says, make up your minds not to worry and do it ahead of time. I mean, you’ve got to make up your mind not to worry. There’s a lot of people living in worry and fear today. Amen? Now I think you should use good, common sense. I think you should social distance when you can and I think he should wear a mask when it’s necessary. I think you should wash your hands, but I don’t want to live in fear and worry. Amen? So, what the verse is saying, make up your mind ahead of time that you’re not going to live in fear and worry. Amen?
James Greer (04:25):
Phillip, I’m not worried. You’re going to be our next DA. Man, Sorry. Anyway, let me stick to what I’m supposed to be doing here. Anyway. It says makeup Your mind ahead of time, not to worry ahead of time about what you’re going to say or what you’re going to do. This is so important. You need to start making up your mind how I’m going to start learning to overcome the emotional monster. Things like fear and anger and frustration insecurity and discouragement. And young people, if you’re not married especially, you need to start making up your mind right now. Who are you going to let in your life, who you’re not going to let in your life. You need to start making up your mind right now. What kind of character that person is that you’re going to date. You need to make up your mind how far is too far or it’ll be too far before you make up your mind.
James Greer (05:14):
But you do it ahead of time because then only then will you know how to respond? You need to know now what you’re going to say to those situations. You say, well, Pastor, what does all that have to do with emotion? Because all that, when our relationships are right, we can go through almost anything together. We can go through good times and bad times. When our relationships are wrong. When I say relationship, when your relationship right with God and your relationship with your mate and those closest to you, man, because you’re going to have some times that stretch you. You’ll have times you have to go through death. We’ve done that. We’d have times that we had to go through birth. I got kicked out of the birthing room. Sorry, did I ever tell you I was sorry? What’s that little thing that goes beep, beep, beep? It goes up high. And that means they’re fixing to have a birth pain. I learned that and back then they didn’t let the people just stay in there like to do now. So I’m sitting in this ward and I’m going one, two, three, here comes the pain. Well, other people didn’t think that was very funny. I got kicked out. That wasn’t a very good emotion. But what I’m saying, if your emotions are right, you can go through things.
James Greer (06:12):
When your emotions in relationships are not there, they’re worse. But this listen to this, Romans 8:5 it says, for those who live according to the flesh, set their minds on the things of the flesh. See, if you’re not careful. When you hear that, you don’t really know what they’re talking about. He said, listen, your mind is going to control your actions. And he said, when your mind is controlling the flesh, he says, there will be things. You’ll continue to have anger, sexual immorality, jealousy, troublemaker and hatred.
James Greer (06:47):
But when you’re Carnal minded it’s death. In other words, when your worldly, fleshy mind, it brings death. But the spiritual minded, it brings peace. Do you understand? It’s telling you what you set your mind on greatly determines death and life and your life. Now it’s not physical death, but it’s going to be emotional, spiritual death. It greatly determines joy and sadness, peace and panic, fear and faith is greatly determined by what your mind is thinking on. That’s why it’s so bad today. So, important today that we learn how to own our emotions, lead our emotions, immature emotions. So number one, we’re going to talk about how to own our emotions. I’ll tell you how I don’t own them sometimes later on.
James Greer (08:10):
But two, you learn to own your emotions. Listen, you can’t lead your emotions. You can’t mature your emotions. So, as I go through owning your emotions, if you’re going to go away with one thing today and they tell me, you all forget,80% or 90% of everything I preach. That’s making me want to cuss. But anyway, don’t do that. Write something down, right. Own your own emotions. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, for though we’re walking in the flesh. We don’t war against the flesh, for our weapons of our warfare are not carnal. They’re mighty through the pulling down of strong holds. Do you all know what a strong hold is? I guess I can pick on Phillip and Susan, they understand this better. Do you remember when you had to talk to Phillip about him drinking too much? I could hear it. She said which time? Now this is how you know they got a stronghold. Because he would say, I got it. I got this under control. I can handle it. Now. He may have had a fifth hidden in drawer, but he had a stronghold. And I don’t know which time, every time, you know. You got a stronghold. I say, Hey, you know you’re drinking too much. I can drink. I can stop anytime I want. We just decided we don’t want to stop you know. Are you really angry and said, man, you’re really losing your temper a whole lot. I can control my temper when I want to. And what is, when you have a stronghold, I’ll be preaching on how the strongholds developed before long you’ll defend the very thing you need to get out of your life.
James Greer (08:49):
And then it goes on and say casting down every argument, every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. You’ll either learn to own and lead your emotions or they’ll end up owning you and leading you. Never, this is the hard part. Never blame your emotions on your circumstances or on other people the way you respond. Now, I’m still learning that. Now God knew I was going to preach this message. God has a sense of humor because he knows I have a problem with this. I want to blame the people and the circumstances for my problem. Now you all understand I’ve been at this for second or third week. I’ve been preaching on anger and not saying they’re all that. Good. This morning. It’s three o’clock in the morning. My dogs are barking.
James Greer (09:41):
Yeah. I have to get up, open the door and my granddaughter got up at three o’clock in the morning. Tori, if you’re in the other room, I still love you. But anyway, and so I said, Tori, what the, I said in Jesus name sweetheart, what are you eating? No, I said what the hell are you doing at three o’clock in the morning? And they’ll say, God knows. I’m going to have to preach this. And so, what I want to do is blame the dogs for barking and blame my granddaughter for getting up at three o’clock morning. Amen? No, I got to own it. She didn’t make me do that. Those dogs didn’t make me respond that way. I have to own that I did that. See if you’re not careful, you’ll do that in all the different areas of your life. You’ll be doing things. You’re saying things and acting a certain way. And you’re going to blame the circumstances of the people for what you’re doing, you learn to own your own emotions. You can never control your emotions. So we gotta be very careful how we do that. You know, if, if, if some person or something can control our emotions, we can’t be happy. We can’t be grateful. And we can’t be content. Unless that person lets us.
James Greer (10:47):
Number one thing we have to do is learn to what own our own emotions. Paul knew that, in Philippians 4:11 he says, not that I speak, regardless of need. Paul said later on. He said, I know what it’s like to be wealthy. And I know what it’s like to have nothing. I have learned. He had to learn. It doesn’t come natural. It doesn’t come natural not to lose your temper. Now, some of them just express it. Some of them are volcano like me and some of them are just internalize it and you’ll say what’s wrong. Nothing, nothing? Nope. Now when I’m upset, you just know it. I would almost assume let’s fight it out and get over it. Because I’m over it when it’s over. So, we’ve got to make sure that we’re not allowing them to do it. It says it’s learned in whatever state I’m in to be content. So what he’s saying, it doesn’t come natural to operate in the spiritual, that’s supernatural and has to be learned. That’s what he’s talking about.
James Greer (12:00):
Galatians 5:22, the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against there’s no law. Another translation says, Hey, we’re filled with spirit. We’re loving, happy, peaceful, and patient. Where does lasting peace, patience and happiness come from? Being filled with Holy spirit. So, if you’re missing love, happiness, peace and patience. Why? You’ve got to own it It is a spiritual problem. It’s not everybody else’s problem. It’s your personal spiritual problem. And you can’t blame anybody else for it. And the quicker you own your problem is the quicker you can get healed from it. So, we got to own them. Then we got to lead them. We’ve got to lead our emotions. You know, it’s not easy to lead your emotions. The hardest person to ever lead in your life will be yourself.
James Greer (12:44):
Let me tell you this. If you’re not married, if you’re not married, stay with the person long enough that you understand what they are really like when they’re under pressure. When they’re stressed, when they’re tired and they’re feeling overwhelmed. Only then can you, they can fake it for a few months. We had somebody back when I was doing counseling before I ran everybody off my council. And they said, counseling might not be your gift that come a couple of times, they quit coming to church. I think they’re probably right. But anyway, and I was sitting there and listen to them and I said, Hey, we’re going to get a divorce. I said, well, how come? She said, because he’s still just like he was when I married him. Huh? I thought he had changed. Or I thought I could change him. If you’re in here and if you’re not married, what you see is what you get. Now God can transform people. I see it all the time. It’s one of the greatest thing in ministry. When you see them come in one way and the go out another way, but you don’t marry them thinking you’re going to transform them because you’re not God. So, you just stay with that person before long enough that he’s going to see how they behave.
James Greer (14:16):
If they continue to excuse their behavior, listen, they’re going to continue to repeat the wrong behavior. When they, if some part now we all do things we shouldn’t do on a continuous basis. We say things sometimes and get upset. But if, if somebody in your life continually is mean, ugly, angry, hateful, jealous, frustration all the time. And then when they get through, they say, I’m sorry. I love you and I can’t help it. I got a free insight for you. You don’t know what love is. You probably know what lust is. You might know what infatuation is, but you don’t know what biblical love is. See. I want to give that person a thing that says biblical love more is more than action. Because love is patient. Oh, we just got in a fight because you aren’t patient. Love is kind. Oh, those weren’t very kind words. Love is not jealousy, you are just so jealous. Love does not brag. It’s not proud. See, love is not rude. It’s not selfish. It wants the best for other people. Love is not happy when evil comes about. He loves truth. Love is patient. Love always trusts. Love, always cares. See true love, never fails. See, when you start talking about love today, it’s so mixed up. Most people don’t even know what love is, but what I’m telling you, somebody continues the wrong behavior and all these. And then they say, I’m sorry. I love you either. They don’t know what biblical love is, right? Or they’re not applying God’s word to it.
James Greer (15:05):
See, over time we all get drained. We have to learn to, ready? Intentionally cultivate positive emotions. They don’t just happen. You’ve got to intentionally cultivate positive emotions like love and then being grateful and being content. Because let me tell you what you can choose who your friends are. You can choose who you’re going to spend time with. You can choose what you read. You can choose what you listen to. You can choose how you spend your own free time. So you do have a lot of choices. And so what you got to do, you got to intentionally make the right choices and develop a loving kind, grateful content attitude. It doesn’t just come.
James Greer (16:15):
Then you got to mature your emotions. The problem with mature in your emotion. Everybody thinks maturity is an age. I know a lot of mean ugly old people. In fact, I didn’t want to go to church when I was young, I’d go to church and I would see those mean ugly, old people. And I said, man, if that’s what being a Christian. I don’t want to be one. You got them in the church. See, maturity’s really, really not an age. We’ve got some youth and young people that are more mature than a lot of adults that I know, because they’re grown in the Lord. Maturity is really not an age. It’s more an action and a responsibility. Part of maturity is learning how to own your own emotions and own your own actions. Mature people can be trusted. Mature people will do what they say and do what they’re asked. We got to learn to mature them. See if you don’t control your emotions, you can’t really be trusted. And when you can’t really be trusted, you’re going to mess up the closest relationships you have in your life.
James Greer (17:32):
Let me say, if you’re one of those that is continually enraged, or even is the opposite, you take it in you don’t let it go for long periods of time that you continually can’t control your emotions and everybody around you knows it. And God’s speaking to you today. First of all, get some wise counsel. That’s not me. I mean, somebody that’s really got wise counsel. Second of all, practice selfless giving. You know what I found out about angry, jealous, hotheaded people? They’re selfish. Most of the time they’re mad because they didn’t get their way. So, what they’ve got to do is start practicing selfless giving. That’s why Matthew 6:21, it says where your treasure is so is your heart. See, you can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving. What you love you’re going to give to it. So practice it, practice being unselfish, practice, doing something for somebody else, practice giving practice doing. That’s why in Acts 20:35, it says more blessed to give than this receive. That’s why Luke 6:38 could be a life verse for anybody. Give and it shall be given you. What? Whatever you need. Not only giving is good. It’s a good measure. Pressed down, shaken together, running over, but we put it into your bosom for the same measure that you use is going to be measured back to you. In other words, you can’t out give God, but sometimes you got to intentionally be unselfish. Amen?
James Greer (18:26):
I can remember Mike Scott. Some of you all don’t know Mike yet, but he’s kind of one of our outreach and hospital and real, real humble, real humble. But anyway, he came in not long ago and he said, man, I’m having a terrible day. And he never says that I’ve got a lot of pressure and a lot of problems. He said, could you give me some people to go minister to. Give me some people to go ministry to. You see, he knew what the best thing to do is learn to look outside of himself and give to somebody else. And every time he went to see somebody, every time he went to the hospital, every time he brought food, every time we went and prayed with somebody, he ended up being ministered to. Now, I’m going to tell you we’ve got to learn how to own our emotions and lead our emotions and mature our emotions. If you’re not, we’ll end up being angry, frustrated, insecure, discouraged, and fearful. Continued anger out of control will cost you your relationship. Do you hear me? And you need to get the counseling. You need to get the help and you need to learn to give.
James Greer (19:36):
One of the things you can do is learn to humble yourself. But let me use another word. Let me use a word called surrender. I’ll read it, James 4:10 says humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and he’ll lift you up. Let me use surrender because listen, you all know in September we’re going to start a new series called Tap Out. If you’ve ever seen the fighters, you know, the fighters or wrestlers or whatever it is sometimes when they have to get, they tap out. Do you all know that the last week or third week of September, if it works out, I told Josh he’s checking on it right now. Josh is at home. I’ll pray for him. He’s keeping the kids. I pray for him and pray for Heather too because she got the virus. But pray for Josh. He stayed home with all kids. But anyway, I said, Josh man, I’m tapped out. I’m so excited. And we looked it up this call they like to be called little people, but in their ad and they said, midget wrestling. I said, man, let’s book them dudes.
James Greer (20:42):
So, let’s have a real illustration on tap it out. Huh? And so surrender is a lot of things. I mean, surrender is giving up, but you have to give up to go up. I can remember, you all probably don’t know hacksaw Dave, but one time I had this kind of a promotion thing with him and here I’m kind of smart aleck, you know and so it’s kinda, but anyway, we were in the back room and I said, that’s all fake isn’t it. He picks me up, holds me over his head. He said, do you want me to drop you? I said, I surrender. He said, I promise you, if I pick you up and drop you, it’s going to hurt you. He didn’t answer the question, but I didn’t ask any more because I surrendered. If your smart you’ll learn to surrender. Surrender your emotions, surrender your worry, surrender your fear.
James Greer (21:30):
Surrender just simply means, Hey, I’ve come to the point. I’m going to be preoccupied and dependent upon Christ instead of myself. Amen? Not only do you have to surrender sometimes there’s some problems, emotions, fears, angers, and discouragement that you’re not going to be healed from until you confess them. That’s what James 5:16 says, confess your trespasses to one to another, pray for one another that you might be healed. There are sometimes you have to, I was, I won’t name one. I was texting somebody in between the services and he texted me back. He said, maybe you’re healed. You confessed it to the whole dang church. I said, well thank you. And so, but really and truly there’s some of you that are struggling with some things that you’re not going to be healed for, unless you get somebody and let them pray with you and pray for you. So, we have to do that.
James Greer (22:27):
Then, you know, after a while, if you’re not careful, you’ll stay angry. And you know, there’s some insights about anger that I don’t like anger artificially helps us feel we’re in control. When we’re out of control, anger, falsely helps us feel powerful when we’re powerless. Anger is a secondary emotion that we respond because we feel like we’ve been hurt, frustrated or insecure. See we’ve got to learn to attack the issue and not the person. We got to learn how to communicate, how we feel. Now, if I were to come out and I said, Tori, I’m really disappointed in you. I really need to sleep another hour and you’re here at 3:00 AM in the morning. That’s not what I did by the way, but, it should be. I should have addressed it the right way at the right time. And then you don’t get frustrated. Then, you know and you start internalizing it. And then you explode.
James Greer (23:40):
Here’s the key. You’ve got to learn the difference between our desire and our demand. I don’t like this, but it’s going to give you an insight. When desires are not met, I get disappointed. When my demands are not met, I get angry. Do you understand that? It helps you to better understand how demanding you are. So, the truth was one of my problems this morning, and one of my problems a lot of times is I’m just so dang gum demanding. Don’t say Amen mother, it’s not the appropriate time. You could think it, you don’t have to say it. I’m confessing. And you’re saying, I hope you get healed brother. But anyway, but I want you to listen to this because it’s the difference between a desire and a demand. It’s a difference between the way we respond and the way we feel. It’s one thing to be disappointed. As another thing to be angry, I would much rather respond in a disappointed way than I would continue to respond in an angry way. Amen?
James Greer (24:34):
And the other’s insecurity, but I’m not going to preach a lot on that because I have decided to address a home right in the whole message on it. But when you’re insecure, you try to be somebody else. I’ve tried it. Can you imagine me trying to be somebody else? I tried to be Billy Graham. I stood up. So you all could come. Nobody came. I was going to do Chuck Swindoll but I couldn’t read his words. So, I can’t do Chuck’s Swindoll. I mean, I’ve tried everybody. And what happens is when you’re insecure and you try to be somebody that you’re not, you’re not very happy. That’s why I’m so thankful to be a part of Journey Church, I can just be who I am. I can’t even believe I do what I do. And that you come back, but I mean, it just is, it just is.
James Greer (25:19):
But anyway, the insecure people, they try to find their worth, neither something or somebody. So they’re thin skin they’re touchy. You might even be trying to help them. And they think you’re trying to hurt them. You have insecurity because instead of finding your worth in Christ, you’re looking to people and places and things. In closing, I want to tell you something. You can’t get better managing your emotions without Christ in you. Christ is our hope and our glory. And until you get Christ there, you’ll try to operate in the flesh and we’ve got to operate supernaturally. So, whether you’re here or your online, let me say something. If you’re not sure today, if you’re not sure you’ve accepted Christ, you’re not sure you’d go to heaven. Today’s the day. Don’t put it off for some other day. There is some crazy things going on in the world. I think God’s speaking to us.
James Greer (26:18):
I don’t think you run from God right now, I think you run to God. And you just simply say, Hey God, I know I’m a sinner. I believe Jesus Christ died for my sins. I would like for him to come into my heart forgive me my sins and be the Lord of my life. So, can I tell you if you hadn’t done anything else, that’s the number one thing to do. Second, own your emotions on the way you been responding, stop blaming your kids and your spouse and your job and your preacher own your own. Until you own them you can’t overcome them. Some of you know right now that you all hadn’t been owning yours, you’ve been blaming other people for the very things that you’ve been doing.
James Greer (27:17):
We’ve got to mature our emotions. One of the ways you mature your emotions is you stop being so selfish and you try to work on being selfless. Do it intentionally, not when you feel like it. You’re not going to feel like it, but when you do it, then the right feelings will come. It just like when you say, I don’t feel like loving them, it doesn’t matter getting into 1 Corinthians 13 and just do what it says. And if you do the right thing long enough, your feelings will follow. The problem is right now, there’s too many people that are following the feelings instead of the opposite way. So, if you would stand, let me pray with you and pray for you. God, I thank you for your word.
James Greer (27:47):
God, I thank you for your word. God is powerful and it’s practical. God, I pray that you speak to each person. I pray they’re not closed minded. I pray that they would let the Holy spirit touch their heart right now, where they need to, what they need to work on, what they need to confess, what they need help in. God I pray if there’s somebody that needs to join the church today, they’ll have next step cards and they can do that. For those that are watching online, you can join online for those that may be been coming, never been publicly, biblically baptized. And now they’re saying well with the distance thing we can’t. No, no, no. You just click next step. Say you want to get baptized. We’ll baptize you next Sunday. So, whatever God’s laid upon your heart, I pray that you let him have his will and his way in your life. It’s all in the precious name of Jesus. And everybody said, Amen.
Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.