Emotional discipline is the habit of surrendering our emotions to God so that we can receive help us to reflect our emotions in honest and healing ways. It’s a habit that defined the life of Daniel and it allowed him to process his emotions constructively even when faced with experiences that threatened to derail him.
When we read Daniel 6, it’s clear that even when Daniel’s life was in danger when his jealous peers arranged his downfall, he remained in control of his emotions. He didn’t act out of character. He didn’t fight the accusations with his own wit. He didn’t try to manipulate his way out of the wicked plan; but rather, he remained calm and continued to fully submit himself to God through prayer.
I believe Daniel’s ability to keep his emotions in check resulted from his spiritual discipline. We know from the start of Daniel’s story, that his faith set him apart. And it was his faith that granted him favor, even with supervisors/rulers. “Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm” (Daniel 6: 3).
Three times a day he prayed to God in his chambers. Even when Darius the king passed the lion den’s decree, Daniel, calmly continued to submit himself to God and offer his petitions to heaven, in his hours of prayer. Even when he received honor by those above him, He remained fully God’s.
I believe it was Daniel’s daily submission to God through prayer that allowed him to exercise control over his emotions. It was his faithful connection to heaven that allowed him not to lose his cool when he was in a less than favorable situation.
Whenever I am tempted to wonder how can I gain victory over my emotions or how can I develop emotional discipline in this situation that is draining me spiritually and emotionally, I consider Daniel’s approach.
I plug into prayer and meditation; because I can only win emotionally when I am connected to God spiritually.
(c) 2018, Dentrecia Blanchette