A Change of Mind. Day five...
My favorite dessert is vanilla ice cream made with the Melin family recipe. This cooked‐custard recipe freezes into an ice cream unequalled by anything else I've ever tasted. Vanilla, just plain old‐fashioned vanilla in a bowl with no toppings—a little bit of heaven on earth.
Sadly, it's not just about the taste. If consumed regularly, it will also show up on one's waistline. So we don't make it very often and when we do it's only when we have company. But what to do with the leftover ice cream? That's always a challenge to my self control.
On one of these occasions Sherrel said, as she was leaving the house, “We don't need to be eating that leftover ice cream. Why don't you throw it out?” After a while I worked up the courage to dump a large container, with probably a half‐gallon remaining, in the sink. As I watched it begin to melt something just came over me. I instantly grabbed a soup spoon and started stuffing my face with that wonderful creamy delight as it was going down the drain. And all would have been fine if Sherrel hadn't called right then and asked me what I was doing.
We hang on to our emotions like I was hanging on to that homemade ice cream. Our emotions are like the dessert in our life. Maybe we've learned to live with a little less taste in the main course by cutting back on the butter, the bacon, or the salt. But dessert? Dessert is not about nutrition. Dessert is supposed to taste good, right?
God is not asking us to give up our emotions. But He is asking us to pay attention to their nutritional value.
One of the primary reasons we pay no attention to the nutritional value of our emotions is because we pay no attention to the nutritional value of our thoughts.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2 NKJV)
If we conform to the ways of the world we will just accept whatever thoughts that enter into our head, assuming we have no other choice. And we will not have the ability to recognize God's perfect will.
When we can't recognize God's will, then we'll end up doing things our own way. And the emotions that develop from doing things our own way are at best useless, and at worst destructive.
Using another food comparison: people who ignore nutrition and base what they eat for their main course strictly on taste are likely to do the same for their dessert. If they don't consider nutrition in choosing the main course, they probably won't consider nutrition in choosing the dessert either.
But people who are very conscious of the nutritional value of the main course are more likely to be concerned with the nutritional value of the dessert. In the same way, people who are very conscious of the nutritional value of their thoughts are more likely to be concerned with the nutritional value of their emotions.
And healthy thinking produces healthy emotions.
But, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed]. (1 Corinthians 2:9 AMP Bible)
“All that God has prepared” includes emotions as well—the emotions that God wants us to experience, which are made in the image of His own emotional nature. Please don't miss this. We have not yet experienced all that God has prepared for us—and this is not just talking about Heaven. Here in this life on this earth we can experience a joy that is unspeakable, in loving and believing Jesus (see 1 Peter 1:8).
When I am experiencing junk emotions I can always trace those emotions back to junk thoughts. God, however, tells us to renew our minds so our thoughts will reflect His purpose in our lives. And once we are thinking with a renewed mind we will experience emotions that are more wonderful than any of those second‐class feelings we've been settling for.
Have a good day,