When My Emotions Lie to Me

Women in Leadership //

weekly refill welcome

By Katy McCombs

I’m trying to stay patient, but the clerk is confused and stuck on the customer ahead of me. It’s not that I don’t want to be patient, I really do, but I’m running late. She’s asking questions, calling managers, even asking the customer what she should do. After the customer leaves, the employees are still debating details of what just happened all while I’m waiting in line, really late now.

I force a smile, but something very different is happening inside of me. I’m irritated, frustrated. My emotions tell me I have a right to be upset, but I’m beginning to wonder if this is really true. Can my emotions really boss me around like this? I can be quick to turn to frustration and anger when I think I’m being cheated out of something. In this case I was being robbed of my time.

I don’t want to ignore my emotions. I want to encourage them to come out so that by recognizing a feeling, I can guide my feelings instead of them guiding me. Any emotion can be so forceful and so convincing, that I end up agreeing with them even when I don’t want to agree.  I want to tell my feelings and myself the truth, because sometimes my emotions lie to me.

In the store, my agitated emotions screamed “Me First.” Yet, I also trust in God and the ways of Jesus, so I know I’m not most important. My needs don’t always have to come first. In the Easy Readers Version of the Bible, Philippians 2:3 says, “In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves.”

The only motivation I have to follow God instead of my shifting emotions is that God’s love will never fail me (Lamentations 3:22). If I believe the promises of God, then I don’t need to ever be impatient, wondering who will stand up for my rights.

Sometimes it is easier to believe this in the theological sense, but not live it out in the practical, daily challenges of life.

I may have been cheated out of my time, but the store was being cheated as well. After the customer ahead of me left, it became clear that she had used an old discount that had been revoked. Everyone in this world gets cheated somehow. It’s not unique to me. The difference is how I react to it. Will I believe my emotional gut reaction lie that my rights are more important? I’d rather believe this truth: No matter what I feel, God is my helper, my defender, my support, and he will make things right.


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About the Author

Kate McCombs is writer of nonfiction and fiction. She lives in the Colorado mountains with her two daughters and her pastor husband. She can be found at katemccombswriter.com, a daily encouragement blog about pursuing the happiness of God.