Fighting the ‘Crazy’

Alright, it’s time to wrap the ‘Are Women Crazy’ series up with some tips for fighting.

1. Spot the signs. Keep a careful eye on your emotions and let them lead you to those things you are trusting.  Emotions don’t tell us what’s true, but the do testify to what we trust.  Hunt down those sources of insecurity in your life.

2. Don’t feed your insecurity.  In the moments when your emotions flare up, those around you (and even you) are going to be tempted to do whatever it takes to make the drama go away.

When I have a meltdown about my job performance the fastest thing my boss can do to stop the tears is affirm my value in the workplace. If he does that the tears will go away – but for the wrong reasons.  I am panicking because the place I’ve put my worth is being shaken.  Obviously, if I convince myself that my source of identity is in fact secure, I will feel better.  But it won’t be because I’m finding myself in Jesus.  It’ll be because I believe I’m good at my job again.

  • Be proactive with your community: invite your spouse, friends, co-workers to seek to affirm Jesus as your source of worth in these moments.  Ask them to be intentional to not affirm a false identity when you feel the most shaken.  Ask them to exploit your emotions to point you to Jesus.
  • Point others to Jesus: Seek to be the kind of friend who will point those around you to Jesus.  When your friend is having a meltdown because she feels ugly, the primary response in that moment shouldn’t how beautiful she is.  Point her to Jesus, not her source of insecurity.

Here’s the deal – it is hard to gospel someone.   There may be faster ways to fix tears than truth, but there is no better way.

3. Use your emotions to identify insecurity and repent. My fear with this blog is that it will drive you to recognize your emotional craziness, and be more aware of it.  It might be something neat to process with someone.  That’s not the goal.  God doesn’t want you to see your sin, He wants you to see it so you can repent.

  • Pray. God alone has the power to give the gift of true repentance.  God alone can change how you feel.  Beg Him to show you the ways you are denying His role as Lord in your life with your emotions.  Fast and pray.
  • Take your emotional sin seriously.  God has revealed this to you for your perseverance.  The main goal is not that you are a better wife, or a better co-worker or less embarssing woman.  The goal is that you press on towards the upward call of God.

If you are uncomfortable with thinking of emotional sin as something that you are accountable for, I’ve got bad news.  The life of a Christian is one of repentance.  That’s what it means to be His: in repentance and rest is your salvation.

4. Believe. The goal of seeing all the places of insecurity in our lives is so that we could press into a better source of security.  At the heart of every emotional sin is a lie.  It is not based on the fullness of reality as revealed in the Word.  Faith in God’s promises isn’t just part of the process, it’s the whole process.  Everything about me flows out of what I truly believe.  If I treasure the truths of God, my heart will be different.

  • Read the Word. Read the Bible.  Read it prayerfully and hungrily.  Beg God to teach you truth through it and ask for a heart that responds according to all the great treasures tucked in the pages.
  • Memorize Promises. At the root of our sin is unbelief in a promise of God.  At the root of our sin is an unbelief in the promises of God, so find a promise that you’re not believing and memorize it and cling to it with everything in you.

Thanks for being a part of this series with me.

I am insecure about a billion things and it makes me an emotional mess.  I find my worth in my writing, in lust, in my spiritual gifts, in my personality, in my job, in relationships and any number of other ridiculous places.  I want to fight that.  I don’t want to make peace with this.  I don’t want to believe this is who I am.  Jesus has better.  Jesus is better.

I want to see that whatever security is offered to me in this world is insufficient.  I want to see that whatever promises of glory or approval or satisfaction offered up, God will match this world pleasure for pleasure and win.  He promises me more, not less.

May you and I be found in Him.

Comments

  1. I just finished reading the whole series, and you have made some great points–particularly when it comes to examining where we’re putting our security. I do have one significant objection, however. You don’t acknowledge any distinction between sinful negative emotions and the negative emotions that exist in serious clinical depression and anxiety disorders. I suffer from clinical depression (it is hereditary…both my mother and my grandmother have it) and have struggled with it for several years. I grew up in a strong Christian home and attended a Christian high school and university, and I believed (and still believe) that I must surrender all aspects of my life to Jesus Christ–including my emotional life. I refused to believe that my inappropriate emotions could be caused by anything other than my own sinfulness until it was almost too late. I had to swallow my pride, accept that I had inherited this mental disorder, and take the necessary medical steps to balance the chemical imbalances in my body. Since I have done that, I have been able to separate the inappropriate emotions that come from clinical depression and those that are a result of my sinfulness and deal with them accordingly. Even though antidepressants help with the inappropriate emotions from depression, I still have emotional struggles that are sinful and do need to be changed and renewed by the loving hand of our merciful Lord.

  2. Thanks so much for this series. I have never heard this issue articulated so accurately and boldly. I think that I was in my twenties before I realized that I was “crazy”. (I’m thinking it didn’t crop up earlier because it was hidden in my positive emotions…things went pretty well in my childhood and adolescence.) It was my marriage that brought out emotional outbursts of a kind I didn’t even know I was capable of. I’ve been having these outbursts for years and have tried to talk to other women about it and even recognized it in other women, but it’s like we didn’t have the vocabulary to talk about it. Maybe we just didn’t want to call it sin. I’m so, so interested in thinking and praying more about this. I have a few questions for you:

    1. Why do you think insecurity is such a good issue for women?
    2. What kind of success have you found in your life after acknowledging and dealing with your emotional sin? (I know that’s kind of personal, but I just keep wondering, “Is it even possible to NOT be crazy?”)

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