As a young person I was often accused of being out of control. I remember whenever the Bible study would get Fruit of the Spirit I would get sideways looks from various people when the reader got to the self-control part of the verse. It was kind of embarrassing for me. I would dwell on it in my mind and say to myself that I need to master this thing if I want people to stop noticing me.
Over the ensuing years I cultivated an almost Vulcan like disdain for my emotions. Don’t get me wrong I still feel deeply but I have learned to seriously repress things in the name of self-control. At least I think I feel deeply, maybe I’m fooling myself.
But there has been a price to pay for this. The other day somebody told me that I was less than human because I didn’t cry during a commercial on TV. There are times I wonder about my emotional state. I ask myself if I’ve repressed things for so long that maybe I’ve broken myself. Is that even possible?
This even has affected how I think about love. I taught my daughters that love is just a decision that you have to make. I taught them not to trust that feeling as it will come and go and during each of those times you’ll make bad decisions because you are out of control. I liked to say that love is an act of will and felt clever at my turn of phrase.
I think now that I was only partially right. I was focusing on the willful part and in so doing missed out on the passion. In all things balance right?
I’ve got a ways to go to fully develop this thought. Being stoically in control comes naturally now. The times when I get emotional are still embarrassing for me. But hey Jesus wept so why shouldn’t I too?
Father God help me to produce all the Fruit of the Spirit in both my head and my heart.