“The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.”
–Alfred Lord Tennyson
The Western world considers the heart as the seat of our emotions; however, this is not necessarily so in other cultures. For example, in Africa it is the liver. So in Africa you would not say, “still your heart,” but rather, “don’t let your liver quiver.” It’s not the words but the meaning of, Guard your heart!
Your emotions are a powerful force. Do you control them or do they control you? Your passions can be the source of much evil. At the same time, great good can be accomplished if your heart’s focus is properly directed.
God has given a set of perfect and reliable guidelines in His Word that will direct our lives if we place our passions under their authority. But it requires a practiced decision we must make in theory, well ahead of the practical test. Moral spontaneity is the breeding ground of ethical failure. Prayer can play an important role in helping us to predetermine our behavior as we face the challenges of life.
We contain our emotions through our will and intellect if we are wise. This is accomplished by thinking through our values and priorities before the adrenaline starts to pump. Many a high school date has taken a turn toward unwise promiscuity because behavior had not been considered before the windows got steamed up.
I have seen leaders lose their reputation and moral authority in the snap of the finger—something I have done myself. You can destroy something you have built up over a long time in a matter of seconds if you let your passions get the better of you.
God Bless you now and always,