Simple Truth for Today: Situations Don’t Cause Emotions.


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I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances (Philippians 4:11, NAS).

Situations Don’t Cause Emotions.

Before you react to that statement, read Philippinas 4:11 again, and then respond, not react. When I first heard that simple truth years ago, I admit it was difficult to understand. I’m not asking you to accept it, just think about it.

I can hear your responses: “You stub your toe”… “You lose your job”… “You experience foreclosure”… “You have a car accident.” All of these cause emotions, right? Do they? Pain, yes. But do they cause your emotions? What are some emotions you might experience? Anger? Despair? Frustration? Panic?

Different people experience different emotions. Why? Check out their belief systems.

The apostle Paul experienced the gamut of adverse circumstances: shipwreck, beatings, hunger, imprisonment. And yet he learned to be content no matter what happened to him. Did those circumstances cause contentment? Obviously not. Could it be that what we believe about a circumstance determines our emotions? If so, what was Paul’s belief about those circumstances?

What people ultimately believe may cause them to commit horrible crimes like the recent Norway killings. Or what people believe may cause them to love like Christ loved us. If we are convinced that problems and circumstances (or people) steal our happiness, we will “react” accordingly. Likewise if we believe in a God who is control of everything and will work out everything for our good, we will respond a certain way. If we believe that things make us happy, we may react negatively if those things are removed from us.

Examine Your Belief System

All of us are caught offguard at times, and we succumb temporarily to a gamut of emotions. Should negative ones persist, however, examine your belief system. Ask yourself, what do I really believe about this situation? Who’s in control here? What do I ultimately believe about the outcome? What does God’s Word say about this?

The Key to Contentment

The key to contentment is our belief  system. Paul “learned” contentment because of who and what he believed.

What about you? Do you agree or disagree? What do you think? Please share your comments below. Your words might encourage someone today! You will not be hounded, prodded, or automatically added to my mailing list if you do so. Feel free to email this blog to someone or to re-post on social media, using  the buttons below. If you want to re-post any of my blogs on your own blog or website, please contact me for permission first.


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    2 Responses to “Simple Truth for Today: Situations Don’t Cause Emotions.”

    1. Sue on July 25th, 2011 10:30 am

      Thank you Rebecca. I needed those words. I have just learned that my nice comfortable tidy life with my husband is about to be turned upside down (for how long I have no idea, could be years), and I just had a little cry about it. But your email came in – God’s perfect timing – and I realise that the circumstance can’t steal my happiness, but my reaction to it can. My reaction to it probably will do over the course of the next few days/weeks, so I ask for your prayers as I struggle to understand that God is in control of everything and will work out everything for our good.
      Thank you, and God bless

    2. Rebecca on July 25th, 2011 10:54 am

      Sue, I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. But I will pray that God will give wisdom, understanding, and grace through all of it–and that He will indeed work all things out for your good–and the good of all involved. He cares about you so much! Thank you for sharing.

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