Creflo Dollar - How To Mature In Your Emotions - Part 1
I wanna start something tonight, over the next several weeks, and I wanna take our time and just really look at every aspect of this area. And so I wanna start off tonight and just get you a nice notebook and look at these things because we're gonna learn how to deal with these things we feel, these emotions. Emotions, remember, they're feelings, they are feelings on the inside moved by pain or pleasure. They are feelings on the inside, they are feelings and they move by pain or pleasure and you gotta decide what's going to fill that variable. X is equal what? Pain response or a pleasure response.
And so your emotions are being moved, but the directions that they will take you, those emotions will take you in a direction, is gonna be based on whether pain is driving it or pleasure is driving it. But emotions are real and there's no need of us trying to complicate emotional things with spiritual things, I'll show you how to tie them in together, but before I do that I really wanna talk about emotions and just what they are. So let's start off, since the series is gonna be about emotional maturity. Say that, "Emotional maturity".
We've talked about spiritual maturity, right? But emotional maturity, I mean, if we can just learn how to handle our emotions and learn how to recognize if we are maturing emotionally. So let's give this definition to you. Emotional maturity is about your ability to understand and manage your emotions. Emotional maturity is all about your ability to understand your emotions and to manage your emotions. So an emotionally mature person has reached the level of self-understanding with regards to their thoughts and with regards to their behaviors, and then they decide how to best approach and to deal with situations that might otherwise be trying or challenging situations in their life.
And so, again, emotionally mature people, they've come to this point where they've reached a level of understanding with regards to their thoughts and their behavior where they can simply decide which is the best way to deal with this challenging situation that's coming. But being emotionally mature can help you reach successful solutions to problem as well as keep problems from overwhelming you because of your maturity in emotions. So it's important to understand that emotional maturity is always, it is always an active work in progress. It's never, I achieve something emotionally and so that's it. It is something that you're going to be actively growing in for the rest of your life because especially these days and times, there's always stuff happening, there's always things that are gonna confront you, there are always some ugly that you're gonna have to see.
And the difference between you and other people, I believe is gonna be that you know how to take the Word of God and use those wonderful insights in the Word of God to show you how to mature emotionally. So, not everyone will always be able to keep their cool based on what situations come their way, and how to respond to those situations. How to respond to situations of rejection when you maybe went out to get a job and you didn't get the job. How to respond to situations of being used, brokenness. You being a Christian is not going to put you in a position where you don't have to deal with this. You're, "Well, I'm a Christian, so I don't have to be concerned about this".
Even more so, even more so you have to be concerned about this. And so we're gonna look at ten, I don't know what to call 'em, ten facts or signals or in other words, how do I know that I am maturing emotionally? What does that look like? There got to be some areas that we can see. I'm on this thing right now where, you know, when I read something in the Word, I'm asking, "Okay, so what does that look like"? And then I'm really asking about the practicality, "How do I implement this particular thing"? I'm talking about emotional maturity, so I divided it up into ten facts about emotional maturity, and you need to know if you are maturing emotionally.
And so the first one I'm gonna start off with tonight is if you wanna know that you're maturing emotionally, you wanna know a sign or something that I'm maturing emotionally, number one, you are maturing emotionally when you see that you are being, number one, flexible. When you're seeing that you're being flexible. Now I was surprised of the number of scriptures in the Bible that talks about flexibility. But it's all too easy to assume things will go according to plan, or that situations or events will go smoothly because it has, you know, it has... in each time in the past that maybe you dealt with a certain thing it's always gone smoothly, it's always happened well.
And I had a situation a couple weeks ago where I really got to see that I have matured emotionally, but what happens when it doesn't go smooth? What happens when the situation or the circumstance just is not working like you thought it would? And so what happens an emotionally mature person is able to think things out and come up with plan B or even plan C, and then he still moves forward and he doesn't let the bump in the road just ruin his entire plan.
Now, I don't mind using me for an example throughout this whole series but I was such a stickler for excellence in ministry and I just was pushing for it to always work out right where when it didn't work out right, I would explode emotionally. I would just get on everybody, it's a wonder anybody even ever wanted to have anything to do with me. I just get on them like Sergeant Carter, like they were in the military. It's like, "Dude, I didn't sign up for this," you know. That was a demonstration of emotional immaturity. But being flexible, that's a key. Can you be flexible enough to kind of calm down and say, "All right, let's deal with plan B, let's deal with plan C"?
And recently, out of town, you know, I showed up, we had a meeting scheduled and things were not like I wanted them to be at all. And I even said to myself, I said, "Oh, if this was 20, 30 years ago, everybody and their mama would've heard me outside," all for the sake of excellence in ministry. But that's not spiritual, that's not emotional maturity. When you are challenged with things that don't work and things that fail, and things don't turn out the way you want them to turn out, what's going on with your emotions, can you be flexible enough to keep your emotions managed and in control while you are trusting God to give you plan B or plan C? I mean, do you just go nuts and fall in depression and you know, you're a Christian talking in tongues, but now you cussing people out because things, you know, that is not an indication that you are mature, that you're emotionally mature.
So we wanna look at some facts about flexibility in the Bible. And since I think not only is this the first one but I think it's probably one of the most important ones, learning how to be as Christian people flexible. I love how we just try to lock God into what we want, you know. And then when it doesn't work that way, then something's wrong. I remember, you know, when I finished college, I had already had all everything planned out, and I went to have my interview to get this position as the head defensive coordinator on a football team, and, you know, the head coach assured me, "Everything's fine, we want you, I get to choose who I want," and I'm ready to go. I mean, it's all planned out ready to go, and it did not work out that way, and I could not understand why it didn't work out.
And I fell deep into some kind of depression, I didn't know, I just felt like the world was over. Taffi and I were dating at the time, and she encouraged me, and she was just like, "You know, well, you know, what's the plan B"? I'm like, "I don't have a plan B, I only have a plan A. That's it. My life is over". Idiot, you know, and no sooner than that I get a call from this lady, she was in psychiatrics, and she got my resume and she said, "I'm Holy Ghost filled, and I know you're Holy Ghost filled, and the Holy Ghost told me to call you and offer you this job". And I'm like, "Huh"? And she says, "By the way, I'm not just Holy Ghost filled, I'm tongue talking".
I was like, "Wow," I didn't know what God was doing and what he was setting up and what he was trying to say to me, but I learned then, you know, sometimes if you just keep cool, God's got this thing together and you lose your emotions for a variety of reasons. You feel like somebody's disrespecting you. Well, that's coming from somewhere. Okay, you feel like, you know, somebody's treating you this, you know, you're gonna bump into disrespectful people. You're gonna be disrespected, okay, but you gotta mature emotionally so that you can handle the ugly part of life, okay. And you gotta know it's your emotions that are doing that. "No, it's the devil".
Well, it must be your... all right so listen, flexibility to change is well understood as the ability to yield to a transformation in order to obtain or to achieve something or a certain goal. And so I wanna be flexible, I wanna be flexible enough to change, I wanna be flexible enough to yield to the transformation that might be happening right in front of my face, I wanna have that. The ability to adapt to change. That's what this is about, the ability to adapt to change. It's a skill that we can develop and with the help of the Holy Spirit, perfect this thing for the rest of our lives, but we've gotta recognize it's something we should strive for, and that's what this series is about too.
Putting some stuff in front of you so you can say, "You know, that's something I can really work towards". Of course, I've taught you to depending on the Holy Spirit, but, you know, you look at your life and you say, "You know what? I'm not flexible to the transformations that are happening in me, I'm not flexible to what maybe even God's trying to do".
And a lot of times people don't end up getting where they need to be because of that lack of flexibility, and you've decided to go this way but God's working on this thing, and so you're fighting him trying to get you where you need to be because there's no sense that you need to work on being flexible where change is concerned. And so, Lord, help me to be adaptable. Lord, help me to be flexible. Lord, help me to yield to the transformations that are happening in my life, I mean, you're doing things with me, you're saying things to me, maybe new things that I hadn't heard before. I want to be adaptable, I want to be flexible, I want to be able to have the ability to yield to transformation so I can obtain the goal that you have for my life.
God has a plan for us and that plan is a good thing, but sometimes our unwillingness to want to be flexible keeps us out of it. And so what happens now is now your emotions, you're not managing those because you don't understand that flexibility is a big part of managing those emotions. So let's deal with this now. I'm gonna look at about maybe ten or twelve different facts about this issue of emotional maturity. I'm so used to saying spiritual maturity, I wanna say up, we're gonna remind ourselves emotional maturity. So when, the first thing we're gonna look at here, number one, flexibility is a quality for leaders. It is a quality for people who lead, and everybody has a place of leadership somewhere in your life.
Whether it's at home, or on the job, or on a team, or everybody has some kinda area of leadership in your life. But you prove your emotional maturity when you begin to understand that flexibility should be a quality for you, but especially for leaders. Flexibility especially for leaders is a very important quality to have. Now let's get into some scriptures here. 1 Corinthians chapter 9 and verse 19 through 20, and maybe through spiritual insight, I can kind of add more to this area. Flexibility, it is an influential and a prerequisite quality for ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ and leadership, I really believe that, I've learned that. That this is something that I know, you can't just get tied into one thing.
And so I'm learning to just not just go with the flow, but just, you know, "Lord, I," there are two prayers that I've been focusing on more than anything, "Let your will be done," amen. I want the will of God to be done in my life no matter what. And number two, "Lord, help me to be yielded". With those two things right there, I wanna yield to you, okay, and I want your will to be done. And that feels weird when you first start, you're praying God's will like, "What in the world is he gonna say"? You know, it's like, "Am I gonna want your will"? He knows how to work on your desire, but I just figured out I don't really need to... I spend more time praying about what I want, years praying about what I want to happen, only to go around that circle to find that, "Man, if I'd have just listened to what... and been flexible enough to hear what he had to say".
I don't think it's always good to just believe for what you want. I've come to the place where I don't really, really, I think I know what I want, but I don't think I really know what I want. Excuse me, I think I know what I want, but if I knew what I needed, I would probably want different. I think that's a better way to say it. If I knew what I needed... and let me just fix all that up. If you ask me, "Well, what do you need"? If God came down to ask me, "Well, what do you need"? "Are you serious"? I don't know, because I'm gonna tell you what I want, but you asked me what I need. Are y'all following what I'm saying? And I thought about that and I'm like if you were to come right now and say, "All right, Creflo, what do you need"? "I don't know. You know, I'm somebody still in process. You're still fixing me, God".
So instead of me, I think it's kind of arrogant, I think the ego comes up a little bit. Instead of me going to God saying, "This is what I need". Are you serious? The one who created you and you gonna tell him what you need? No, I need him to let me know what I need, okay, 'cause all I'm gonna do is turn my wants into needs. "Lord, I need money," and you don't even need money, your issue is so much deeper than money. Ain't that what we, "Lord, if I could, I need this. If you could just give me this to pay my bill, that's just what I need". No, you don't because you prayed that prayer a hundred times, you keep ending up in the same place where you think you need money and obviously you don't need money. There's something that keeps putting you in a position where that same need keeps coming up, wonder what it is. And if we can get down to the root issue, then we can see some different things happening.
See this series is gonna be trying to help you to learn how to live, living. That's when you get God's best when you learn how to live instead of religion, where you go in a closet, ask for your desire and then come out looking for it. I don't wanna do that anymore. I wanna learn how to live with him and I don't wanna live with him being my side partner, I wanna live with him doing the work through me. Here's my relationship with God, here's my body, obviously in the physical world, you need it to do some things. Maybe you don't, but here's my body, what do you wanna do through it?
"I keep trying to get you to work with me, and you keep trying to convince me that I just wanna work through you". "Come on, Lord, work with me". "No, I don't wanna go. I wanna work through you, you're trying to get me to yield to you. Uh-uh, I want you to yield your body to me, and I wanna work through you, I wanna speak through you, I wanna operate through you, I wanna bless through you. I wanna do so much through you that your whole being starts getting used to my presence. But that ain't gonna happen if you keep praying, 'Come on Lord, work with me, work with me, work with me God,' like I've been working with you, you ain't changed yet". And then he says, "You can't do this, so I'm gonna work through you".
I don't know, sometimes I think I'm going to a place where I'm gonna look back one day and wonder, does anybody understand what I'm saying? Because I want to dig deep on this thing and flexibility is a part in my emotional maturity. And so at least I know that this is something I can begin to believe God for to help me to be more flexible. Now look at this, King James version, 1 Corinthians chapter 9, verse 19 through 23, and here's what he says.
Now listen to this, see if you can spot the flexibility here. "For though I be free from all men," Jesus is speaking, "For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself a servant unto all". That's flexible, isn't it? Why? "That I might gain the more. And unto the Jews," he said, all right, well this is Paul, "Unto the Jews," he said, "I became as a Jew that I might gain the Jews". That's flexible, isn't it? "To them that are under the law, I became like those who were under the law, that I might gain them that are without the law". "And unto the Jews, I became a Jew, that I might gain the Jews and to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law".
Verse 21, "To them that are without law, I became one without law, being not without the law of God, but under the law to Christ, that I might gain them that are without law". 22, "To the weak, I became as weak, that I might gain the weak, and I made all things to all men that I might by all means save some," not everybody, but save some. "And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partakers thereof". Paul said, "For the sake of the gospel, I will be flexible. For the sake of the gospel, I will be flexible that I might win some". He says, "Oh, I know I'm not gonna win everybody, but I'm gonna allow my emotions to mature enough so that I can be flexible".
There are preachers in the pulpit these days, they're not trying to be flexible, "You know, for the sake of excellence in the ministry and for the sake of being strong leaders". No, you know, "If you decide to do that, you can't get in front of the people and change your mind, if you said that you can't get in front people and", you gotta be flexible, you gotta be flexible. If I preach something and I realize, "Dude, that's harmful, that's wrong, that's misleading," be flexible enough to change it so you can win somebody. But you can't be, like, unwilling to adapt. Am I willing to adapt so I can win some? What we've practiced is the marrying of methods. Are you married to a method?