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Pain with a Plan

Pretend you’re in elementary school. You see your friend across the room and call them over to you. Suddenly your breath catches in your throat and your face gets hot and your heart races as you remember that you are in the library and everyone is staring at you because you aren’t supposed to yell in the library. You bury your face in your notebook and try to be invisible. You never yell in the library again. Shame has done it’s job. It’s taught you that your behavior is unacceptable to the tribe around you. You learn how to better interact with others and contribute to the community in a way that is good for everyone. It hurt, but now you know.
What happens when the shame doesn’t stop? You bury your head in your notebook and try to be invisible and say over and over to yourself, “You’re so stupid, everyone hates you, they all think you’re a loudmouth, why can’t you just follow directions like everyone else? Why do you have to talk all the time?!” You think like this for the whole class and get a pit in your stomach every time you have to go to the library for the rest of the year. You can never finish your writing assignments. As an adult you remember hating writing as a kid, but now you can’t remember why.
When God made your insides, He put emotions in there on purpose. They are powerful and important. Each one has a job to do, but sometimes they hang around after their job is done and cause trouble.
We don’t have to let them take over. We can look through our emotional rolodex with God and fish out any unwanted influences. After all, it is for freedom He has set us free.

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