In John 7: 19-25 Jesus asks why the leaders wanted to kill Him, but the people's emotional reaction could have come from our time: "You're crazy. You've got a demon, who is trying to kill you?"
Jesus said in response: "Don't judge by appearance, judge righteous judgement." (v24) In other words, making judgements by appearance and the emotion that is a reaction to that appearance, is wrong.
Having an immediate emotional reaction to His words prevented the people from looking at the facts. It is the same for you and I. Emotional reasoning prevents us from looking at the facts, at the larger picture.
Receiving correction at Jesus' command, some set aside their emotional reasoning and said: "Isn't this He whom they are trying to kill?" (v25)
They changed their reaction from emotion to righteous in an instant, showing it can be done. They simply received correction, took control of their emotions, used the brain God gave them, balanced emotion with fact, and made a righteous judgement: 'Isn't this the man they are trying to kill?'
We catch ourselves when we form an emotional judgement, stop, change, and accept what the facts tell us.
Balance, balance - rather than grow, focus on the gift
Learning how to balance emotional reasoning with rational thought is a process. Many people have no 'filter' before they speak or act - if they think it, then out the mouth it goes or they take action without any thought attached other than what that emotion calls for. Others stay in a years-long emotional tug of war between emotional reasoning and logic:
Some live with an abusive spouse or 'significant other', but stay with them due to emotional reasoning in spite of logic telling them to leave before something worse happens.
Some have become sexually involved with someone outside of marriage and struggle between emotional reasoning and the logic of their commitments to one another, refusing to deal with fear and security and financial issues.
Some flare up in anger, leave social media friends, groups, or real friends, only to feel bad later but are too proud to admit they overreacted. Very often such a person will then push their 'gift' before others - the thing they do in the Lord that is fun and clearly from God- though He is dealing with them about their character, so they hide behind their 'gift' so they don't have to grow up. Music, witnessing, their cause, etc. It's all to hide their emotional character issues.
Some cannot discuss issues and ideas without personally attacking the other person, using emotion as reasoning. Logically they have no moral foundation upon which they base their reasoning, and because it is emotional reasoning their minds are confused with double standards, hypocrisy, and illogical beliefs. When discussing ideas they flare up and leave the discussion - they can't handle the emotions that are stirred up because they are reasoning by emotion.
Some don't 'feel' safe, comfortable, at peace, so refuse to discuss ideas and concepts, but rather seek to exclude anything that doesn't make them feel 'safe'. We see this now on US college campuses when speakers with views different from the liberal view are excluded, some actually saying they don't feel 'safe' listening to different views. That is emotional reasoning.
Safety. Fear. Past hurts. Insecurities. These are reasons people stay in emotional reasoning. To leave emotional reasoning for logic would mean a huge rearrangement to their lives, living arrangements, character growth, and more.
How to change
Learn to control your emotions. When an emotion flares up, catch yourself before you speak or act. Bring it captive by spear point to Jesus. Control yourself. Talk it through with yourself or a close friend. You have a character flaw, one you have refused to submit to Jesus for years and years, and now He wants you to learn to control your emotional reasoning. Control your emotions. Work at it.
A person doesn't need prayer for this other than to be strengthened from within to rise up and take control of their emotions. No hands laid on them, no demons to cast out. Just simple discipline. The very word 'disciple', meaning 'learner', states discipline is the key ingredient. There is no other solution.
The first time you may not catch yourself until after you sinned and blurted out something or left a chat room or un-friended someone or broke off a friendship. You know a person is struggling with growing up if you've ever heard: 'I haven't unfriended them, I just don't follow them anymore.' Same with real relationships. "We're still friends, we just don't do things together like we used to." That lie to oneself and others is chaff that will be burned away when they stand before Jesus. Saved, but as by fire as per Paul in I Corinthians 3-15.
The next time you'll catch yourself and 'hold your tongue'. The next time after that you'll recognize the emotional reasoning rising in you as it happens, and you'll apply thoughts that look at the other person, their circumstance, your own heart, and be able to make a righteous judgment. Repeat that each time. It is a process, a discipline, but it becomes a way of life.
Emotional reasoning: When a person believes their emotions are facts and with that foundation, thinks and makes decisions based on those emotions. Emotions are appearance based. What is said, written, done, that causes us to react emotionally, and we make decisions based on those emotions, those appearances.
Jesus: "Don't judge by appearance, judge righteous judgement." (John 7: 24)
Disciple. Discipline. Take control of your emotions before you start to reason with them. What would Jesus think about that? One of my most common prayers: "What do you think about this Father?" "What do you think about this Lord?"
New subject next week...until then...blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org