We’ve been talking about emotional baggage lately, and the toll that it takes on your overall health, as well as your relationship with God. Today, we’re going to look at the toll that baggage takes on your emotional health, as well as what true emotionally healthy living looks like.
The truth is that God wants all of us to get to a place where we’re emotionally healthy. You don’t reproduce what you say, wish for, or hope to achieve; no, you reproduce who you are. And if you’re not emotionally healthy, you’ll spread that toxicity, no matter what level, to every person you encounter. Many of us have been confused and hurt because of the result of someone else’s emotional baggage.
In other blogs, we’ve already discussed some of the causes, symptoms, and solutions to emotional baggage. Now, I want to look at the flip side: what does it look like to live an emotionally healthy life?
Emotionally healthy people honestly and openly communicate in a gracious manner. They receive complaints, correction, and input in a gracious manner. How? Because they are secure in themselves; they’ve dealt with any lingering bitterness, insecurity, and pain. Does that mean they’re invincible? Of course not! But they’re courageous enough to address their wounds and their anger and deal with it in a mature manner.
Emotionally healthy people take responsibility for their own behavior. This is a huge point! I don’t want to hear about what everybody else is doing. What are you doing? So many adults can’t take responsibility for their part in relationships, and it’s a huge sign of immaturity.
Lastly, emotionally healthy people live vulnerably. Because they know how to deal with emotional baggage when it comes up—and it does arise in all of our lives!—they’re not afraid to be hurt; they’re not afraid to trust; they don’t live afraid. They live vulnerably.
James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” How can we live the kind of open, loving life that’s prescribed here for followers of Christ? Simply put, by dealing with our emotional baggage courageously and maturely. When we do that, we’ll invite other people to do the same; and our relationships will be healthier and more life-giving than ever before.