BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
Managing your moods effectively is something you must learn to do if you are going to succeed in life. There are both positive and negative moods, good and bad moods, and both can influence your success in life. God does not want your moods to control you, but to control your moods. He doesn’t want you to be a slave to your moods.
What is mood? The dictionary defines mood as:
1.The way you are feeling at a particular time.
2. A period of being angry or impatient.
3. The way a group or people feel about something.
Your mood talks of your frame of mind, your disposition, your temper, your feeling, etc. God created man and put emotions in man, but that does not mean your emotions should dictate what you do. Your moods should not always determine what you do because even a good mood can lead one astray. The Word of God should determine what you do. Why? Your moods are not always right or correct even though it is true you are feeling the way you’re feeling.
How many times have you followed your feeling, acted based on your mood and you regretted later what you did? Many years after, these regrets are still with you though you have learnt your lessons. Acting always based on your mood is bringing yourself under the circumstances, and God wants you to be above the circumstances.
You cannot entrust your destiny to your moods because your moods are not always right neither are they always wrong. Your moods are not permanent; they change based on circumstances. Sometimes, your mood is a reaction to something and your judgment may be wrong therefore the mood unjustifiable. So how can you be making important decisions based on what is not reliable? That means you will change what you’ve said or done based on your mood if the mood changes. If it is something that is impossible for you to change, you will regret your actions or decisions. Nevertheless, the Word of God does not change.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV). The purpose of the Word of God is for teaching and helping people, correcting them and showing them how to live.
Successful people succeed at managing their moods. Somebody says, “I feel good about it.” That is what most advertisements always want to achieve – make you feel good about a product and go for it! That feeling may soon change and you will be proved wrong. You now begin to regret buying a product you don’t need with probably the money you don’t have! You should entrust your life to your mood.
How mood control averted needless bloodshed
The man who fails at managing his moods is bound to fail at managing his life. In 1 Samuel 25:13, David was in a mood to kill over the insults hurled at him by Nabal over his request for provisions for himself and his men in return for protecting his men and their sheep in the past. He was ready with 400 men of war armed with swords to destroy Nabal and his household. David had said, “Now David had said, ‘Surely in vain I have protected all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belongs to him. And he has repaid me evil for good. May God do so, and more also, to the enemies of David, if I leave one male of all who belong to him by morning light” (1 Samuel 25:21-22 NKJV). However, David controlled his mood to listen to Abigail, who had come to intercede. The servants of his husbands had told her how he insulted David when David sent his servants to him.
Controlling his mood that day saved David from needless bloodshed as rightly said by Abigail herself: “And it shall come to pass, when the LORD has done for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you ruler over Israel, that this will be no grief to you, nor offense of heart to my lord, either that you have shed blood without cause, or that my lord has avenged himself. But when the LORD has dealt well with my lord, then remember your maidservant” (verses 30-31 NKJV).
David acknowledged being in a mood to kill and the intervention of Abigail in delivering him from a rash decision based on his mood. He said, “And blessed is your advice and blessed are you, because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand. For indeed, as the LORD God of Israel lives, who has kept me back from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, surely by morning light no males would have been left to Nabal!” (Verses 33-34 NKJV). David accepted her plea and received the present she had brought and told her to return home in peace – he would not kill her husband as planned. David never knew that Nabal would die about ten days later; he didn’t need to kill him! “Then it happened, after about ten days, that the LORD struck Nabal, and he died” (verse 38 NKJV). David married Nabal’s wife, Abigail after his death.
Don’t always talk the way you feel
Don’t speak according to how you feel. Don’t take actions based on how you feel. Don’t take decisions based on how you feel. Your feeling can be good, but your action, reaction, talk, or decision based on that mood might not be right. Have you heard about somebody accused of killing another person because the person fought with the dead person prior to his death or uttered a statement in the heat of passion such as “you will see it” or “I will show you that this is the last time you will ever do this”? Unfortunately, without doing anything against the person, he died. It will be interpreted that he killed the person. How would he ever be able to exonerate himself that he didn’t kill him? In honesty, he might not have had anything to do with his death, but it is just a bad coincidence. Suppose he had controlled himself when he felt like uttering those harmless words that ended up ‘killing’ the person!
It would have been recorded that David killed Nabal, but he didn’t have to kill him because God had a plan when to get rid of him. Why are you trying to fight your enemy whose cup is already full, and about to face the wrath of God? That is why the LORD says, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” (Romans 12:19b NKJV). Taking vengeance means you’re telling the LORD you can do a better job than he can do! The truth is: the LORD will always do a better job – an excellent one.
Follow the Word of God, not your moods
The issues of life are too important for your moods to be the basis of judgment of your action. You can be wrong. Your action, reaction, speeches, or decision should not be based on whether you are happy or sad, angry or not angry, hungry or satisfied, pleased or displeased, encouraged or discouraged, appreciated or dispised. Follow the Word; don’t follow your moods. Follow the Holy Spirit and not your emotions. Your moods can mislead you. “For the word of the LORD is right, and all His work is done in truth” (Psalm 33:4 NKJV). The Word of the LORD is right; we can depend on it. It does not change like your mood changes. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (NKJV). When you keep His Word in your heart, it will keep you from the wrong path. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11 NKJV).
Some people won’t go to church and if asked will say, “I am not in the mood” or “I just don’t feel like going today.” However, going to church has nothing to do with your feelings. Your feelings should not determine whether or not you go to church. The Bible says, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25 NLT).
You are never going to be a great Christian if you pray only when you feel like praying. Praying has nothing to do with your feeling. The Bible says you should pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). It doesn’t say you should pray when you feel like it. Let your feelings follow your decisions not your decisions following your feelings. You don’t have to feel like praising the LORD before you praise; you owe him praise, you were created to worship him. “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Revelation 4:11 NKJV).
If you have a bad mood, you can change it. That mood should not control you; control it. To achieve success in your marriage, at work, in your business, at school, etc., you can change your mood that will not let you do the right thing. Change the mood and do the right thing.
The psalmist had to deal with a downcast mood; he didn’t allow it to control him or determine what he did. He spoke to that negative mood in Psalms 42:5a, 11a, and Psalm 43:5a: “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?” (NKJV). He changed the mood by speaking encouraging words to himself.
Some Bible characters and mood management
1.Moses: He was angry, spoke in anger, and struck the rock contrary to God’s word. God did not permit him to enter the Promised Land because of this breach of His instruction (Numbers 20:6-13).
2. Saul: Though he was in a good mood because of his being anointed king by Samuel, he restrained himself from telling his uncle about the kingship (1 Samuel 10:14-16). However, he failed to restrain himself under pressure and fear from intruding into the priest’s office – he offered sacrifice instead of continuing to wait for Samuel (1Samuel 13:8-14).
3. Esau: He was hungry and sold his birthright (Genesis 25:29-34). Being hungry could be a kind of mood, but when something good or bad (terrible) happens to people, the feeling of hunger usually disappears. Esau lost his birthright and wept for it later, but it was too late (Hebrews 12:16-17). Jacob who prepared the food Esau requested for was hungry too, but he traded away the food he had prepared for himself because he valued the birthright more than the food.
4. Hezekiah: Berodach-baladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah because he heard that he had been sick. Hezekiah got carried away by this show of kindness and threw caution to the wind – he showed strangers all he had, including the weapons of war.
After Prophet Isaiah came to ask him who the people were that came to him and what he had shown them, he told Hezekiah, “‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the LORD. ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon’” (2 Kings 20:17-18 NKJV). Unfortunately, Hezekiah was more concerned about his reign than the future – what would happen to his sons. Without any regret for his lack of discretion, he merely said, “‘The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good!’ For he said, ‘Will there not be peace and truth at least in my days?’” (Verse 19 NKJV).
5. Belshazzar: In Daniel 5, Belshazzar was in a celebration mood and he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver vessels that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that he and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them.
He was judged by the fingers of a human hand which appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall: “‘And this is the inscription that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians” (Daniel 5:25-28 NKJV). He was killed in a palace coup that night.
He was a heathen king and God did not judge him for drunkenness, but for going too far to order that vessels consecrated to God be brought out to drink from them. He called holy things common. This he did by not controlling his mood. He got excited and overstepped his bounds.
6. Herod: In a moment of joy, he offered to do anything for Herodias’ daughter who had pleased him with her dance, promising to give away even half his kingdom. That mistake led to John the Baptist being beheaded, as requested by Herodias’ daughter (Mark 6:16-29). Herod did not control himself.
Don’t let circumstances control you; control circumstances. Don’t act or speak in the heat of passion. Don’t be quick to say yes. Think before you commit yourself. According to James 1:26, “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless” (NKJV). James 3:2-12 also speaks much on controlling one’s tongue. Remember that death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). By your words you shall be justified and by thy words you shall be condemned (Matthew 12:37).
Conclusion: Don’t be deceived by your mood. When people talk with you, listen attentively to what is being said and more importantly what is not being said before you begin to feel somehow. Don’t consider what you are going to gain alone; weigh it side by side what you may lose. Ask yourself these questions: Will my decision guarantee me joy in future or offer me momentary joy or pleasure? Does it violate the Word of God or the established laid down rules or morals? Will I be proud if other people get to know about it? Never say or do anything you will be ashamed of later.
If you will successfully manage your moods for success in life you must exercise self-control, which is part of the fruit of the Spirit and part of the faith supplements (Galatians 5:23; 2 Peter 1:6). 1 Corinthians 9:25 says, “And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown” (NKJV). Temperance means self-control. “All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize” (1Corinthians 9:25 NLT). Your moods are not always right; they could be deceptive. Be guided always by the Word of God, not by your moods; be led always by the Holy Spirit, not by your moods. Don’t let Satan use your moods to manipulate you.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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