Instability is the hallmark of our times! The spectacle of dignified government leaders engaging in screaming harangues; senators, congressmen losing their tempers — the constant reports of riotous mobs raging at police — these and other violent outbursts of rampant human passion fill your newspapers. Here's WHY such unbridled emotion, and what YOU ought to do about it.
"BUT — WHAT CAUSED it?" ask bewildered citizens in the wake of another violent riot. Officials demand an investigation. Police issue official statements about the "cause" — usually that of police action in attempting to arrest a criminal, and the riotous attempt of a mob to prevent it. But isn't the question a little silly, after all? The true CAUSE of riots is HUMAN NATURE. Vanity-filled, jealous, lustful, greedy, resentful, rebellious, hateful, riotous HUMAN NATURE!
The Age of Hate
As never before, you're living in a time of hatred. Arabs hate the Jews, Africans hate East Indians, Whites hate Blacks, and Blacks hate Whites, Pakistanis hate Indians, Nationalist Chinese hate Red Chinese, North Koreans hate South Koreans, and South Vietnamese hate North Vietnamese. Husbands hate wives, and children hate them both — and probably, your neighbor hates you! And whom do you hate? Some people seem to hate almost everybody. Did you ever wonder WHY — and shake your head with a certain resignation — over all the unbridled HATRED in the world today? Violent emotional outbursts seem to characterize our day. Prior to the Jew-Arab war, it was the screaming invective of Radio Cairo — the yelling, purple-veined, slavering mobs careening through their littered streets, with their reddened, crazed eyes glaring their hatred — fed by the "holy war" propaganda of a deliberate government attempt to foster hate. Then, during the war, the manufactured scapegoats of Britain and the United States became hate objects. Humbled in an incredibly swift and utterly decisive defeat — it was only a matter of weeks later that Radio Cairo was once again calling for "holy war" against the Jews! Have you ever witnessed a mob? Ever been part of one? Have you tried to REASON with a person who is caught up in his own blind, passionate HATRED? Ever tried to "talk sense" to him? LOOK at the threadbare fabric of this rotting society! Look, and see if you DARE to look clearly and plainly at the fantastic amount of blind RAGE, at the hate potential, all around you. Our cities have become hotbeds of racial violence and brutal crime. Our towns fester with the same sins. Our families nag, scream, shout, curse at one another. Diplomats hurl invectives! "LIARS!" screams a liar. WHY?
A World Ruled by Emotions
It's an emotional world. One that is being RULED by emotion. You are a human being, with human passions, desires and emotions. When you were born — you knew absolutely nothing. Yet, you were born with a certain NATURE, which is described in YOUR BIBLE as being COMPLETELY and DESPERATELY wicked and evil — try as we may to deny it! (Jer. 17:9) As a tiny baby, you had absolutely NO CONTROL over yourself. You screamed with rage. You whimpered with hurt feelings. Your hunger brought wails of protest. You made a mess of yourself, and then became enraged at everyone in general because of it! There are four major ways in which each person SHOULD mature. Some only make it through one of them. First, you grow up physically. Then, if you are blessed with the RIGHT education, the RIGHT environment, and RIGHT values and principles, you grow up mentally. In due time, hopefully, you grow up EMOTIONALLY. And FINALLY — IF GOD SO WILLS, you can grow up, SPIRITUALLY! Your most precious possession is your mind. You are a physical, human being, but made in the very similitude and copied form of GOD (Genesis 1:26). God Almighty has given each of us a wonderful MIND, with a fantastic capacity for GOOD. The mind may be likened to a powerful machine — capable of a great deal of constructive work. But misdirected, misguided — it is of such force and power that it could cause incredible DESTRUCTION. The mind is a fine INSTRUMENT — meant to be carefully cared for — utilized in the only RIGHT way, according to the instruction book sent along by the manufacturer! And that instruction book that tells how YOUR MIND ought to operate is the Holy Word of God your Creator! But most people NEVER TRULY USE THEIR MINDS! How many people do you know who are truly emotionally STABLE? Who are emotionally MATURE? What about You? Do you actually CONTROL your emotions? If so — you're a very RARE person. I have said the world is RULED by its emotions. Let's see just how true this is. Let's take a quick look at the fabric of the world — at government, race, advertising, entertainment — even religion. Actually, world leaders, politicians, advertisers and movie producers know very well that most people are ruled almost wholly by their emotions. They make very good use of that knowledge. When the foreign policy of a nation demands war with another nation to achieve its ends, the propaganda experts immediately turn out patriotic movies, magazine stories and books — only the pictures of real expediency are shown in newsreels and magazines, and the public is told exactly what the experts decide. Witness the shameful fiasco of enraged mobs burning American Embassies in the Mideast recently. This is all a cleverly calculated plan on the part of a nation to induce its people to get wholeheartedly behind the aspirations of the government — to develop a "flag-waving" attitude of patriotism! World leaders know this — and make use of it! By appealing to crazed, uncontrolled, human emotion, rulers can make a whole nation into a riotous mob!
The Advertising Ploy
The advertisers are especially clever manipulators of the emotions of the unsuspecting, gullible public! Knowing that most people buy a product on the "spur of the moment," just on impulse, the advertisers' aim is to somehow appeal to these impulses! The typical monkey wrench advertised by a buxom, scantily clad young woman is a good illustration. The pleasure-mad sensuality of our modern living has led the world on a moral landslide of degeneracy where the word "sex" must be utilized if the eyes of John Q. Public are to be attracted to anything. It is difficult to buy a magazine without a gaudily emblazoned announcement of an article dealing with some special facet of SEX within its covers. In the last two decades a veritable FLOOD of little "pocket" magazines loudly flaunting sex, and little else, has jammed the newsstands.
Emotions Swept by Movies
A cursory examination of our motion-picture industry should convince even the most dubious of their wholesale effect on our emotions! The average individual viewing the unfolding of a story on the glittering screen is completely yielded to his emotions. He is seeking to relax, to be entertained, NOT to think constructively, to argue, or to investigate the reasons behind the plot of the story. Therefore, it is a simple matter for the producers of the motion picture to keep his emotions in rapt attention. From deep suspense to fright, and then a few minutes of serene pleasantness, to be suddenly dashed to the dismal depths of despair — swept up again to buoyant heights of joy and laughter, he anxiously identifies himself with the hero. Slugging his way through an angry mob, he feels the delicious, vicarious feeling of his knuckles pounding the blubbery face of the ugly leader into unrecognition. And so — as his emotions are running riot — the only control of emotions is in the film itself, since the viewer has lost his own. Take a look at national crime rates! Especially in the United States, crime directly attributive to unbridled emotional outbursts has risen sharply. It is a common occurrence to read of brutal murders as a result of arguments in a home! Official crime reports show the majority of murders are committed in the family, or among close acquaintances — who KILL in a moment of blind passion! Our large cities especially are plagued with sudden outbursts of violence as a result of pent-up emotions exploding in uncontrollable riot. WHY? The answer is quite simple. Because the average individual has never learned to hold his impulses, his emotions in check! Our helter-skelter search for the physically and emotionally satisfying has led us up a box canyon of emotional turmoil and instability! If there could be only one major situation to serve as a graphic illustration of that fact, it is OUR NATIONAL DIVORCE RATE! People are not happy! Our homes are not happy, and, when the basic institution of any society, the HOME, is unhappy — the entire nation is in danger! Bigotry and race hatred characterizes a great deal of society today. Feeding it — fanning its raging flames are the hate mongers with their lust for personal power, or their blind, unreasoning hatred for the members of another race, regardless as to their personal character. Whether it's a Negro talking to his children about "Uncle Charlie," or a white, speaking of the "Niggers" — the sickening story of prejudice and race hatred is the same. Soon, this unbridled emotional rage is destined to write one of the bloodiest chapters of all human history! And how totally UNNECESSARY it all is! HOW FUTILE — HOW WORTHLESS! Look at the passionate forms of ESCAPE people use. From a yelling, screaming emotional RELIGIOUS "experience" to a drunken whiskey jag, man seems bent on remaining enslaved to his own violent emotions. Many times we receive letters from those who, in a frenzy of emotion, and because others around them were doing it, went down the aisle to kneel before a shouting preacher to "give their hearts to the Lord." Later, they wondered what it was they did. But the emotion of the moment swept them away. They really DID FEEL remorseful — they FELT ashamed — they FELT like going to the altar — they DESIRED forgiveness — but they didn't KNOW WHAT TO REPENT OF didn't know WHAT IS SIN, and didn't know the TRUTH ABOUT SALVATION! It was all EMOTION, and precious little spiritual UNDERSTANDING! Yes — whether it's the highest-level government parleys, or the simplest neighborhood squabble, the whole world seems gripped by its uncontrollable emotions!
Is Emotional Stability Inherited, or Acquired?
MOST PEOPLE HAVE NEVER COMPLETELY GROWN UP! We mature physically first — and then, finally, some people mature mentally. But only comparatively few people, it seems, ever mature emotionally or SPIRITUALLY! The modern child-rearing methods, and the progressive education being disseminated in our schools follow the policy of "nonrestraint" where emotions are concerned. Emotions, they reason, are much like air in a bottle! The more you compress the air in the bottle, the more liable is the bottle to break. Therefore, reason the learned doctors of psychology, every kicking, screaming, uncontrollable tantrum a child stages is allowing a certain intrinsic amount of that "pent-up" pressure to escape — leaving LESS tension, and LESS emotion in the bottle! The total fallacy and empty ridiculousness of such theories should be apparent to anyone! Emotions do not have intrinsic value, but are mental reactions of habit. A rebellious, emotionally unstable child has learned the HABIT of rampant emotional outbursts, and, rather than lessening with each tantrum, the pressures of wild, uninhibited emotions are built up by habit! Through the period of adolescence, the story is pretty much the same. The corner drugstore, the friends you had, the movies you saw and the car or the bicycle you had — all were governed by impulse, in most cases, and without real mind control. Our modern teenagers are the product of the war years when the "lid was off" nearly everything when it came to morals and social standards. The result is self-evident. Our American teenagers present one of the gravest problems, and are one of the biggest national scandals that has ever confronted a nation! Over one half of all auto thefts and other major crimes in recent years were committed by mixed-up, restless, thrill-seeking, emotionally unstable teenagers under the age of eighteen! Today, the wild, weird, crazed "hippie," or motorcycle thug has become a veritable god to the teenage products of our hate-filled, permissive homes. Shocking? Yes — and more than that — an abomination in the sight of God, who is going to indict a whole nation for its crimes against its own children! Emotional stability is NOT a natural result of adulthood! The mind does not just "naturally" take control of the emotions of the average human being. Properly controlled emotions, and a level-headed, sound-minded approach to life must be TAUGHT, and is therefore ACQUIRED, not inherited!
The WRONG Use of Emotions
The Creator-RULER of this Universe reveals in His inspired Word that this present world is under the sway and influence of Satan the Devil (II Cor. 4:4). He is called the god of this world, this age, or society! Satan, as the deceiver and the destroyer, WANTS mankind to use emotions WRONGLY. One of Satan's greatest tools and weapons in trying to destroy humanity is EMOTIONALISM! It was PRIDE, JEALOUSY, GREED, LUST, and VANITY that led Satan to VIOLENCE against his very maker. The Bible describes the devil as a "ROARING LION," and a "DRAGON." He is described as the very epitome of snarling, enraged, violent HATE!
How the Devil Failed
The greatest battle that has ever been fought was not a war between nations, not of spears and swords, not of guns and bombs, but an awe-inspiring struggle of the WILL! Jesus Christ fought that battle, to qualify to ultimately REMOVE Satan from his present position as ruler of this world! You'll find the thrilling history of that tremendous struggle in Matthew the fourth chapter. Christ had been in the wilderness area for 40 long days and nights, fasting! (Verse 2) Just think of how hungry He must have been! Satan the devil came to Him and craftily said, "If you be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread" (verse 3). Notice! The Devil appealed to Christ's EMOTIONS! First, to His office, that of Very God in the flesh, and second, to His extreme, near starving hunger that gnawed within Him! Christ COULD have acted on IMPULSE, as most human beings would have done. Jesus COULD have let vanity drive Him to do just as Satan had proposed! But did He? Not at all! Christ controlled His impulses — He MASTERED His emotions, and with His MIND, motivated by His willpower, He said, "It is written, MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE, BUT BY EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDETH OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD!" (Verse 4) Satan continued to play on Christ's emotions — always appealing to vanity to come to the fore, to Christ's authority and office. Jesus withstood every single temptation through the power of God's Holy Spirit, and by setting His WILL to MASTER HIMSELF — to RESIST acting on impulse, upon a sudden emotional suggestion! Christ finally gave a COMMAND, "GET THEE HENCE, SATAN!" (Verse 10) And the Devil was DEFEATED. He was WHIPPED by the superior mind, the power and overwhelming AUTHORITY Of Jesus Christ! The Devil wasn't through with Christ yet, however. All during Jesus' earthly life, Satan worked on the emotions of the Jews in Palestine to kill Him! Finally, when God allowed it, Satan utilized his most effective weapon to finally bring about the horrible torture and death of Christ — RAMPANT EMOTIONS! Notice, in the account of the crucifixion of Christ, in Matthew's Gospel, the people were gathered together in a Mob against Christ! Have you ever seen a Mob of people, angry, shouting, marching against the object of their hatred? Have you? Do YOU believe such mobs are using their MINDS, or just raw, uncontrolled, violent emotions? Just such a crowd of unbridled hatred was unleashed against Christ. Pilate knew that "... for ENVY they had delivered Him" (Matt. 27:18). After the Governor had determined the mob wanted Barabbas to be released, instead of Christ, Pilate asked them, "What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?" (Verse 22) And in their surging, reckless abandon to passionate hate, they screamed out, "LET HIM BE CRUCIFIED!" The governor tried to reason with them. He appealed to their minds, to their logic. He asked, "WHY? What evil has He done?" (Verse 23) But did the wildly shouting mob stop to use their minds? Did they have control of their EMOTIONS? No! "They cried out the more, saying, LET HIM BE CRUCIFIED!" (Verse 23) And Satan had succeeded in his plot against the life of Christ. However, he never could have succeeded, had it not been God's express will that Christ die at that precise time for the sins of the world! God permitted Satan, however, to sway the emotions of the mob in order to murder God's own Son! How similar must have been this farce of a trial to some of the screaming race riots of our ugly times!
God Wants Us to Use Our Emotions Wisely
Untold suffering and mental anguish exists in literally hundreds of thousands of homes right now because of the lack of emotional stability and control! What about YOUR home? Do YOU always control yourself just the way you would like to? Are you always in complete mastery of yourself? The natural emotions God has built in the human being are not wrong in themselves — but, as in all things, they can be put to a wrong use! Jesus Christ had emotion! He was HUMAN as YOU are human, and as such He possessed the same human nature which He had to overcome. Christ learned obedience by the things He suffered (Heb. 5:8). He cried out with TEARS to God during His earthly life in order to succeed in mastering Himself, and finally qualifying as our coming King and World Ruler! (Heb. 5:7) Jesus was deeply moved at the grave of Lazarus when He saw the total lack of faith in His most intimate friends! (John 11:35) And Jesus wept. He displayed a great deal of emotion over the prophesied destruction of heedless Jerusalem (Matt. 23:37). And He was moved with righteous anger and indignation against the hypocritical Pharisees on many occasions! (See Matt. 23; John 8:33-59; Mark 3:1-5) God commands His servants to GROW in grace and knowledge (II Pet. 3:18) until they can reach stability, maturity, and use their emotions properly! "But strong meat [spiritual truth] belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil" (Heb. 5:14).
Basic Human Emotions
The very basis of all human nature, and therefore human emotions, is VANITY! "Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities, ALL is vanity" (Eccl. 1:2). The vanity in human nature is the source of the greed, and of the emotions of jealousy, bitterness, and hatred. Notice how most of the "works of the flesh" Paul warns Christians against, stem directly from uncontrolled human emotions! "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like, of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:19-21). Your natural human mind lusts to envy others (James 4:5) and is contrary to sound-minded emotional control. "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other, so that you cannot do the things that you would" (Gal. 5:17). Paul was further inspired to write to us, "... the carnal mind [the natural, fleshly mind] is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom. 8:7). The natural mind, then, is motivated by vanity and the lusts of the flesh, and is contrary to God's law, which is the channel through which God's LOVE flows. To remain carnal minded is to remain on the outside, looking in, for "except you repent, you shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3); and, "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His" (Rom. 8:9). To be without the Spirit of God is to be carnal minded — and the carnal mind is just NATURALLY emotionally immature! True emotional maturity, then, can come ONLY through God's Holy Spirit! That is exactly what your Bible teaches! "For God has not given us the Spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a SOUND MIND"! (II Tim. 1:7) Various translations of the Bible render Paul's inspired statement in II Timothy 1:7, "For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a SANE MIND"! The King James (Authorized) Version renders it, "sound mind." Any mind that does not have God's Spirit is an unsound mind — a mind that is NOT spiritually SANE! True sound mindedness can come only through OBEDIENCE TO GOD'S PERFECT LAWS! (Acts 5:32) The times ahead are going to be more DEMANDING upon you than you can faintly realize! You are soon going to be plunged into a holocaust of unbridled, violent HATRED; of worldwide chaos and WAR! What will you do then? Will YOU become victimized by your own prejudices — your own passions, lusts, and uncontrolled emotions? Will you hate? Will you become gripped by a faithless FEAR? Will you, in the face of terrible persecution, LOSE CONTROL of yourself, and RENOUNCE your God? It's about time you realized there is a way of ESCAPE and PROTECTION for those who will truly SURRENDER their hearts and minds to their Creator — to those who really want the Spirit of God to BREAK their hostile, carnal, HATING nature, and replace it with the great out flowing LOVE that can come only from God. Christ says His own ELECT will be SPARED in the perilous times ahead. He says those who are MATURE in true mental, emotional and spiritual maturity — those who really GROW UP will be spared! Listen! "And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the WORK of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: TILL we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a MATURE [margin] man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: that we henceforth BE NO MORE CHILDREN, tossed to and fro [led by our unstable emotions!], and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may GROW UP unto HIM in all things, which is the HEAD, even Christ!" (Ephesians 4:11-15) Why don't YOU grow up?