“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.” – Proverbs 16:32

“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” – Colossians 3:2

“For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”– Romans 8:6

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

It is easy to allow yourself to exaggerate the severity of challenges as you face them.  When you face unexpected hardships, pain, or suffering; the immediate reaction is to lose control of your emotions and feel fear due to your immediate thoughts.  Regardless of how severe the situation seems; it is always better to control your emotions and think clearly about your situation.  Frequently, the challenges we face seem much more severe initially than they do after we have time to review the entire situation.

Even when we do face frightening challenges, it is better to not allow our emotions to control our ability to think so we can properly address the situation.  It does not help the situation to ignore all our other priorities because the immediate challenge feels so disastrous.  It is important to maintain our train of thought regarding all important responsibilities while analyzing the current challenge. 

Of course, when faced with an immediate major challenge we must not ignore it, but we must not allow the situation to control our mood, our ability to address other challenges, and our reaction to other people.  In the end, we will have to address the challenge, but many factors may change which will cause us to have a different response. 

We must control our emotions when we face a major challenge and give ourselves the opportunity to evaluate options that address our entire situation. 

Christian Bible Lesson for Today

Greg with his wife Connie and her brother, Tom

Greg owns a large company that develops and supports software that supports companies that sell both through their website and at local stores.  When he started his business almost ten years ago, he worked hard to develop a strong base of customers that provided a stable income for his company.  He maintained a close relationship with those companies that purchased his software during the first two years of his company. 

Greg received a notice from two of his original customers that they were moving their software to a new software company.  Greg was devastated.  He could not think of anything else.  He began to think about his other customers and worry about them changing software companies.  Greg was not able to sleep at night.  He continued to think about his company going bankrupt. 

His wife, Connie, was very concerned about Greg.  She called her brother, Tom, and asked him to talk with Greg. 

Tom called Greg and arranged for them to meet for lunch.  During lunch, Tom immediately understood why his sister, Connie, was so concerned.  Greg was so depressed that he was unable to function normally.   

Tom and Greg attend the same church.  Tom told Greg to think about a church lesson from a few weeks earlier that talked about trusting God and continuing to work through major challenges.  Tom told Greg that he was doing exactly what the Church Lesson told him not to do.  He was so focused on the worst-case outcome that he did not take the time to do what needed to be done. 

Tom told Greg that he needed to focus on the success of his business and what he needed to do to maintain that success.  Then he needed to review how he was supporting his current customers and make any needed improvements.  Tom told Greg to make sure all his current customers are aware of how important they are.  Then he needs to talk with two customers who left his business.  He must make sure that he lets them know that he does not have any bad feelings for them, and he wants to make sure they know they can always call him if they need anything.   

Tom told Greg to focus on the things that will help his company, and not allow his depression about two companies to take all his time. 

Greg thought about everything Tom told him.  He did remember the Church Lesson and saw the wisdom in that lesson.  He realized Tom had some good points.  He immediately called all his good customers and identified several ways he could help them.  Then he talked with the two customers who started doing business with a competitor.  It turned out that the reason each left was because their business changed.  They both do much more manufacturing and Greg’s software only supported direct sales and web sales.  Greg was so relieved when he learned that the two companies did not go to another company because they did not like his company, they left because the requirements of their business changed.   Greg felt so much better.

After Greg thought about the entire situation, he realized that he should have taken the advice from the Church Lesson from the beginning.  He should not allow himself to be depressed about a situation and ignore it for the rest of his life.

Christian Bible Lesson Summary

It is important to not allow individual events to control your emotions.  Trust God to be there for you.  We will encounter major negative events in our lives, but we must continue to stay calm and support the rest of our lives while evaluating the major challenges. 

It does not help you to become so depressed that you are not able to address all parts of your life.  Control depression and work on the best solution.  You will help your own well-being and you will be available to support those people who need you.

Published by Jim Brandt

Jim Brandt was an all-conference college football player and served as a Marine Corps pilot during the Vietnam War. He also started a software company and served as an executive for the fifth-largest bank in the United States. Brandt won the Democratic party nomination for Congress twice. He is married and has three children.