Respond Biblically not Emotionally

22 November 2020 AM – Proverbs 15.28 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Fred was invited to a party that he knew would likely include things that may endanger his morals, health, and spiritual life, but he agreed to go to please his peers. Sue just received word that her mother has cancer. She panicked and plunged into a state of frantic worry. On his way to work, a careless driver nearly ran Jim off the road. In anger, he yelled and screamed at the driver. Sally’s husband forgot her birthday and she shredded him with her tongue. Each of these people have one thing in common, they responded emotionally.
Transition: Proverbs 15:28, God tells us to study to answer. In other words, we must respond biblically not emotionally. For us to do this there are three actions we must take.
The first action we must take to respond biblically not emotionally is …
  1. We must remember this applies to every occasion.
a.         This applies to our response to difficult situations.
1)         Accusations – When someone accuses you of doing something or failing to do something, whether true or false, your response will be either emotional or biblical.
2)         Irritations – Your neighbour needlessly complains. Your child may spill something at a very inconvenient time. You may have overslept and are now running late. You may have had a bad day at work. These and similar irritations often rouse our emotions and wrong reactions.
3)         Verbal attacks – Someone may attack your character or call you a name. They may say unkind things about you. They may swear at you. Though difficult, God wants you to respond biblically not emotionally.
4)         Harm – When someone harms you, physically or emotionally, God still wants you to respond biblically. If a person cheats you or steals from you, the human response is to respond emotionally, but God wants us to respond biblically.
5)         Disobedient children – When children disobey, this tries our patience and our godliness. Sometimes children disobey repeatedly. This makes responding biblically a difficult challenge.
6)         Bad news – When you receive bad news about a sick relative, the death of someone dear to you, a job loss, a financial setback, a wayward child, etc. God wants you to respond biblically not emotionally.
b.         This applies to our response to questions.
1)         Petitions – Your son may ask if he can go to a friend’s house. Your boss may ask you to tell a lie. A salesman puts pressure on you to make a deal.
2)         Invitations – You may be invited to a Christmas party. Your friend may ask you to go with him to a questionable venue.
3)         Dares or peer pressure – A person may pressure you to smoke, drink alcohol, take a drug, be immoral, look at pornography or partake in some other sinful vice. If you answer emotionally, you will displease God.
4)         Unanticipated decisions – You may unexpectedly be ask to make a decision and feel pressured to hurry.
  • Difficult situations will take a variety of forms, various questions will catch us off guard, but to each one God wants us to “study to answer” rather than being wicked and letting our mouth pour out evil things.
The second action we must take to respond biblically not emotionally is …
2.        We must admit it is wrong to respond emotionally.
a.         Emotional responses are often sinful.
1)         Anger is nearly always a sinful emotional response. (Proverbs 15:18) “A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.” (Proverbs 22:24) “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:” (Colossians 3:8) “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
2)         Emotional responses displease God because they show a lack of trust in God’s character. (Psalms 27:14) “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” (Proverbs 3:5) “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
3)         Responding with emotional worry is sinful because God commanded us not to worry. (Philippians 4:6) “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
4)         Often our emotional response to situations is one of yielding to the flesh. (Romans 6:16) “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
b.         Emotional responses may be harmful.
1)         Rash answers – When we give a rash answer and do not take the time to study to answer, our answer is often not good (Pr 18:13). We may say something unbiblical. We may respond in a way that displeases God.
2)         Regret – When we respond emotionally, regret is likely to follow. We do or say things that we wish we could undue. Often damage has been done that cannot be reversed.
3)         Emotional responses are often foolish choices. When we respond without thinking, praying and pondering God’s word, we will lack God’s wisdom act like fools.
4)         We act emotionally when we want to please friends, fear to take a stand, or are afraid to act biblically. (Proverbs 29:25) “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
The third action we must take to respond biblically not emotionally is …
3.        We must fulfil requirements to respond biblically.
a.         Responding biblically requires God’s help.
1)         The heart of the righteous studies to answer. To be righteous, we must be right with God.
2)         We must spend time in prayer to enable us to respond biblically. Jesus warned His disciples, (Matthew 26:41) “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
3)         We must study God’s Word for wisdom to respond biblically. The word “study” in our text means to meditate. The person who is right with God will meditate on how God wants him to respond before he responds. Did you know that you cannot meditate on something that you do not know? The better you know the Bible the easier it will be for you to respond biblically.
4)         We must resolve to obey God even when our emotions feel otherwise. This can be a real struggle, especially if we have to take a stand against family or friends.
5)         We must rule our spirit. (Proverbs 25:28) “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
6)         We must resist temptation. (2 Timothy 2:22) “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
7)         We must stay calm.
8)         We must speak God’s “soft answer” in the situation. (Proverbs 15:1) “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
b.         Responding biblically requires sober thought.
1)         We must think before we speak. (Proverbs 4:26) “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
2)         We must get all the facts before responding. This is good advice when disciplining children or responding to an invitation. (Proverbs 18:13) “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.
3)         We ought to seek counsel from godly people. When you have done your best to study to answer but still do not have peace, seek godly counsel.
Conclusion: Life is full of events to which we must respond. If we do not determine ahead of time how we are going to respond, often we will respond emotionally. 1) We must respond right to every occasion. 2) We must admit it is wrong to respond emotionally. 3) We must fulfil requirements to respond biblically. Now is the time to determine with God’s help to respond biblically not emotionally.
            If you have responded emotionally, humbly admit your fault. Seek forgiveness from God and those you have wronged. Ask God to help you study to answer from now on.
Song: Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord – 337