Here's a verse from the Bible, the Message version, that I have been pondering all week. It really challenges me.
God is speaking, after he had just about 'had it' with the Israelites.
After he had delivered them multiple times and brought them out of many troubles, still they disregarded his laws and did not want to have anything to do with him.
This is what he said:
"I seriously considered dumping my anger on them, right there in the desert. But I thought better of it and acted out of who I was, not by what I felt..."
The main point is that God chose to act out of who he was, not by how he felt.
Who would think that God himself would have to choose to make a choice like that?
And if HE has to chose to restrain his anger and actions based on emotions, how much more I can expect that I need to make choices to do the same thing?
It will not come naturally to me to react properly (heaven knows this is true...), but I need to make the choice to act out of who I am (through the work that Christ has done in me) instead of how I feel.
The next part of verse 22 says: "...so that I might be honored and not blasphemed by the nations who had seen me bring them out."
He did this to save his reputation; to keep his good name. So this is the reward of choosing to act out of who you are and not how you feel.
I'm working on it....not there yet, but I want to be more like God in this area; and God himself is my helper!