Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 14:30
"A tranquil heart is life to the body, but passion is rottenness to the bones"
This is so true. I have allowed myself to get so wrapped up in a sports team that I would feel deeply depressed when they would lose a match. I would be depressed and discouraged with life because a particular team did not win a game.
I needed to seek and find a tranquil heart in this matter. The idea is clearly that we cannot allow our mind, will, or emotions to bubble away on something or anything of insignificance. We must be able to be clear in our soul for the work of discerning wisdom.
The word tranquil in English means to be free from agitation of mind or spirit. The Hebrew word means healing. What we allow ourselves to be troubled or passionate about is very important. It needs to be about those things that really matter and that God sees as important and even those we must often approach with a dispassionate precision.
The word passion is really the word emotion. Excessive emotion will destroy us. It is not wrong to be passionate, but it can and will destroy its owner if it is not held in check – especially when a decision is on the line. Jesus was zealous for the Lord. The idea is passionate emotion of an intense variety.
One needs to be able to look at everything from a dispassionate angle at times. What is being talked about here is extreme intense emotion: jealousy that consumes all your thinking space. It works you over because you are so involved with it.
There are times when we need to allow the emotions to flow, and there are times when we need to be able to distance ourselves from the emotions that we feel. One of the techniques that I have found effective is to install an emotional clutch between my soul and my body. This clutch allows me to feel deeply and strongly but for none of the emotion to be translated into speech or action. This emotional clutch is important when it is inappropriate to express or act on the emotions that you are feeling.
It is also important to admit that you are feeling the emotions that you are feeling. Denying that they exist will not make them go away; it will usually just have them surface in some other place in your life in an unhealthy way. Our emotions are internal reactions to what happens to us or what we hear or think about. To deny ourselves the ability to react is not helpful, but to allow that internal reaction to control our speech or actions is foolish.
Feel the feelings that are produced by your life but do not act on the passions that you feel. Solomon is suggesting in this proverb that one should choose to move one’s life to a place where there is less drama and emotional reaction. Develop a life and a style of living that produces tranquility rather than constant drama and reaction.