I tend to overthink, be over-emotional and over-sensitive. I may or may not have the qualities of an HSP (highly sensitive person). But it doesn't really matter how accurately I fit the HSP description; what matters to me is how my inner life and relationships are affected. Because emotions are so powerful, I figured that evil could use this against me. I find that a bigger cause for concern than my tendency to cry so easily in certain situations.
If I were to break unhealthy thought patterns, grow in being more responsible for how I feel, to stop looking for rejection when there is none, and to be secure in people's love for me, I've decided that Philippians 4:8-9 is my best weapon to combat negative thoughts and calm overwhelmed emotions.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9 ESV)
To think about, to meditate on, to declare
That which is true. That the Lord Jesus lived the life I was supposed to live, died the death I should have died, was raised to life and is now seated at the right hand of the Father. That he has saved me from the death penalty brought about by sin and that his free gift is an abundant life, both in the present and in eternity.
That which is honorable. He is a promise-keeping God, faithful to his covenant even when we are unfaithful to him.
That which is just. I deserve death and yet in the cross of Christ, God's justice and love converge in ways I will never fully understand but will forever be thankful for.
That which is pure. His love holds me together and because he first loved us, we are able to love others as well. We do not love chiefly because it is practical, it makes us feel good, because this, because that. We love simply for the sake of loving.
That which is lovely. All of creation is a testament to the Father's love. In a broken world, there is still much beauty to behold. I choose to see the beauty in others and I'll find my issues slowly melting away, no longer as significant as I thought they were.
That which is commendable. The Lover of my soul is ever-patient and his mercy is inexhaustible. The man I'm pledged to marry also reflects this patience, regardless of how many times I've had unrealistic expectations of our relationship.
That which is excellent. The Law of the Lord is a gift. It makes wise the simple and keeps your path straight.
That which is praiseworthy. Rest in the plans and perfect timing of the Lord. Rest in the truth that he continues to work in you and will complete what he started.
Think of these things and "the God of peace will be with you."
Be still, my heart and soul, and know your God.
Today I'm grateful for God's word, his promise, and his perfect peace. The next time my emotions decide to make me think unreasonably and hurt myself & others, these words will keep things in perspective.