Are You Moody?
Keeping with my recent theme of being built to win and standing in your identity, I started thinking about those of us who struggle with staying in that “free” space. Those of us who know the Lord and know our place in Him, yet still have days and times when we don’t feel like we’re His.
I have my days when I feel God’s presence so strong, I see things working for my good, and I am so in tune with Him. On those days I am energetic, enthused, and productive. “Man, why can’t I always feel like this?”
But, what changed? Some days I feel like life is so hard. Even though I know who I am in the Lord, and I meditate on the scriptures and speak life, it’s an uphill battle.
I used to chalk it up to the enemy, but lately, I’m thinking that wasn’t entirely true because greater is He who is in me (1 John 4:4). I don’t have all the answers, but I do have a theory about all of this.
Check the Source of Your Mood Swings
First, I think there are multiple things that affect our mental state including the foods we eat, our rest habits, and our meaningful relationships. These things can change. Some days you may get 8 hours of rest and other days you may only get 5 hours; sometimes you eat healthy and other days that KitKat is calling your name. Just like the weather, when you have certain environmental changes, the atmosphere can develop rain, snow, or high winds. Same goes for human physiology.
Recently, I was in the car driving home and I began to feel a drop in my mood out of nowhere. I started wondering why – I thought about going home alone (I’m single), having to get certain things done before bed, and all the things I wasn’t looking forward to. At that moment God told me, “Jeannette, you weren’t even thinking about those things 5 minutes ago.”
It hit me. My mood change had me looking for something wrong to justify the negative feeling. I had been fine, then suddenly I wasn’t. Because nothing was happening at that moment, I took inventory of my life and tried to match an event to the mood!
I was blown away, I had been doing this for a long time! The Lord was showing me that when we do this, we give that feeling license to stay rent-free in our minds. Then, it becomes that much harder to evict the freeloading negativity.
You’re Not “Only Human”, You’re Spirit-filled
There are things that crop up in us that we put up with because we think it’s a part of being human. I know people who have said that they can’t trust people who are always happy. “That’s just absurd to be in a good mood all the time.”
Have you noticed how much easier it is to bond over negativity than positivity for some people? Some of us tend to feel like we’re bragging when we tell people about good things happening in our life, but then we don’t hesitate to dump all the drama on anyone who will listen!
Let’s be deliberate about changing the topic when it veers off the path of positivity. I’m not insensitive, I know that hurting people need to vent at times, but we need to use wisdom and know when to step in with edification and keep the conversation on an upward trend.
Until recently, I didn’t know that I could have thoughts that weren’t my own – it’s the same with moods. We can have a sudden drop in mood, but we need to discern whether we’re the source.
God has given us the ability to express feelings and emotions. There are times that things happen to evoke certain responses which are normal, but when it happens out of the blue, ask the Lord to reveal the source.
The devil will try to manipulate you so that you become unproductive and ineffective. If you are constantly battling with your moods, then chances are you’re not able to give enough attention to God’s calling on your life.
Joy fuels us – it’s vital that we maintain it!
Again, I want to stress that discernment is key because your mood changes can also reflect the heart of God and He may be calling you into intercession. There are some people who feel saddened out of the blue or they feel righteous indignation toward disobedience. God may be calling you to stand in the gap and pray for grace and mercy or to pray His will for someone else. Having an intimate relationship with God will take away the guesswork. Ask for wisdom and understanding, and He will lead.
So, What’s The Play Call?
Self-awareness is key to development. Pay attention to your thoughts, moods, and motives. Question everything and allow the Lord room to search you (Psalm 139:23) and give you insight.
Learn how to stir up the gift in you. I have a few worship songs and psalms I like to read when my mood shifts to get myself back on track.
Moods that won’t relent are often a call into the prayer chamber – take earnest heed and go boldly before God, who is waiting to help you (Hebrews 4:16).