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Exit Your Emotional Roller Coaster

by Ben Cerullo

Do you enjoy roller coasters?

It’s my guess that people like roller coasters for the same reason they like scary movies. There’s an undeniable adrenaline surge when you think your life’s in jeopardy.

But I’m not sure that’s a healthy way to live.

I’ve discovered that many people who no longer ride roller coasters at Disney World are instead riding roller coasters of a different kind. Rather than pay the exorbitant gate fees at an amusement park, they’ve developed the habit of riding relational and emotional roller coasters.

Even though you don’t have to pay a gate fee for an emotional roller coaster, there’s a high cost nevertheless. So I’ve determined to do my best to avoid such roller coasters.

How about you?

In order to minimize life’s emotional roller coasters, we must recognize how we’ve unwittingly ridden them in the past. This may require a painful walk down Memory Lane, but it’s worth the effort.

I’ve discovered three tips that will help you reduce your risk of emotional roller coasters:

Choose your inner circle of friends carefully

If you closely attach yourself to people who love emotional roller coasters, you will inevitably join them on a jolting ride through life. That’s why King Solomon warned, “Do not associate with those given to change; for their calamity will rise suddenly” (Proverbs 24:21-22 NASB).

This isn’t easy. It means minimizing the time you spend in unhealthy, codependent, nonproductive relationships. Sometimes you may have to quit trying to fix people who don’t really want to be fixed. Instead of making them any better, your own life just becomes worse.

Build your life upon rock instead of sand

Jesus warned about this in Matthew 7:24-27, describing the fate of two different men who built houses. Perhaps you’ve never noticed it before, but the man whose house was on a rock probably led a comparatively boring life! Hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods could come along, but he was able to rest securely within the unshakeable home he had built. Meanwhile, the other man experienced an adrenaline surge every time a storm came his way. He ended up with a roller coaster life, continually subject to the weather patterns of his surrounding circumstances. It may have been exciting at the moment, but in the end he had no house left.

Anchor your emotions to our unchanging God, not unreliable circumstances

If your state of mind is based on the weather or the daily stock market report, you’ll never escape a roller coaster life. Likewise, you’re likely to be a very moody person if you allow your disposition to be determined by how you’re treated by your boss, your coworkers, your children, or your spouse.

Instead, you can tie your self-image to Someone whose love is unchanging. There’s no roller coaster with His love, for He’s continually telling you, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3) and “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

Not only does the Bible say your Heavenly Father loves you, but it also declares that He will never change His mind on that! Realizing this unchanging truth is an essential step in getting off of your emotional or spiritual roller coaster.

So, are you ready to stay off unnecessary roller coasters in the months ahead? These three vital principles will help you minimize extreme highs and lows in your life, opting instead for a slow, steady, purposeful walk with the Lord.

Even before the invention of roller coasters and amusement parks, Solomon warned that “runaway emotions corrode the bones” (Proverbs 14:30 MSG). When you anchor your hope to the Lord and His Word, your “runaway emotions” will become a thing of the past.

 

Ben Cerullo has been named by Charisma Magazine as one of the “30 Emerging Voices” who will lead the church in the next decade. His ministry carries a powerful anointing and prophetic message. Traveling extensively, both domestically and internationally, he has spoken in more than 27 nations. God continues to use him to reach people with the Gospel, confirming His Word with signs following.

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