“Process your emotions by speaking out loud what you feel, lest your pain control you.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 26, 2021
Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Proverbs 1:8
I am thinking about my mom this morning and how to honor her on what would have been her 81st birthday. Below, I wrote an honest conversation between a son and his mom. Many of these ideas I learned from my mom, and some from other moms.
Here is an example of a real conversation between a son and his mom:
Be Generous With What You Have— Son, work hard, but not to the neglect of family. Live within your means, a.k.a.: spend less than you make. Save for the future and give generously in the present. Give what you have, not what you wish you had. Money is a means to make the world better, so raise your standard of giving and keep modest your standard of living.
What if people take advantage of my generosity?
Son, it’s not if, but when, so accept the reality: not everyone is responsible and grateful, but still be a great giver. You give, not to control, but to do what’s right to help other human beings.
Be A Wise Lifetime Learner— Son, read the Bible daily, and then Shakespeare and other classics; you will better understand yourself, your friends and your enemies. Stay in school, especially when it’s hard and your studies seem a drudgery. Like a farmer plows his fields in preparation for planting and harvesting, so your fertile mind needs the cultivation of disciplined thinking as you grow your mental capacity to know and understand.
Is college really necessary to be successful in life?
Not necessary but advisable to grow your social skills and to develop lifelong friendships. Education is much more than knowledge, it’s learning how to skillfully apply what you learn and most of all how to get along with other people, especially those different from you.
Be Emotionally Aware and Engaged— Son, what you feel is real. It may not be advisable to act on certain feelings, but your emotions are a very real part of who you are. If you stuff what you feel, negative emotions will incubate in your heart. Unexpressed disappointment and disapproval gestate anger, resentment, bitterness, shame and guilt. Be vulnerable. Share sadness so you are released from raw emotions that ravage relationships. Take time to process your feelings.
But sometimes I don’t even know what I feel, I feel trapped in an emotional box, with no way out. Where do I start when I feel like I am spiraling down into frustration and anger?
Start by speaking out loud what you know to be true and to recognize what may be a deceptive feeling. For example, you may feel like the one who loves you the most approves of you the least. Say to your special friend, “I know you love me, but can you tell me more often what you appreciate about me, instead of areas I need to improve. Maybe speak seven affirmations you admire in me for every word of correction.” Process your feelings, or your pain will control you.
“Honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 19:19).
Heavenly Father, teach me to number my days by learning how to honor my mom and learn from her, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Consider a daily, or weekly call to your mom, just a few minutes to check on her.
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