April 22, 2021

Suggested Reading: Ephesians 4:17-32

Be angry and do not sin.—Ephesians 4:26

Many of us may be familiar with the term “disgruntled”. After reading or hearing so many stories on the news that reported a destructive or harmful activity of a disgruntled employee which can range from a negative review online or on social media, to something more devastating and harmful to others in the workplace. It is a word that dates all the way back to the 1830’s.

We may not be as familiar with the term “gruntled”. Yes, that’s really a word! And it means exactly as we might think, the exact opposite of disgruntled. If you are disgruntled you are angry, unhappy, annoyed, sulky, or dissatisfied. But, if you are gruntled you are pleased, satisfied, contented, in good humor or a good mood.

Although we associate and connect the word disgruntled with a person’s feelings or state of mind concerning the workplace, we can be disgruntled about many things: the meal we were served at a restaurant, a conversation that took place that did not go in a good direction or have a favorable outcome, the state of a relationship, the service we receive somewhere, our hotel room; just about anything you can think of.  

Every one of us can experience the deep and provoking emotion of disgruntled. I have felt that way from time to time. Recently following a phone conversation with a company to understand why I was being charged for a transaction I had cancelled some time ago left me feeling a bit disgruntled. By the end of the conversation the answer I received was not satisfactory and knew I needed to follow up within a certain period of time, I felt that way: dissatisfied, unhappy, annoyed. I was not so emotionally invested to the point of being angry, but close enough. But I have also had times—more than I can count—where I experienced the emotion of being gruntled. Most days I am gruntled as opposed to disgruntled. I tend to be a glass-half-full person and look on the brighter side so things; being gruntled may be my usual state of being and mindset.

Emotions can be our joy and also our, unrelenting mean master. God has not given us these emotions to torture or judge us, but that we might have a wide range of emotions that we can express ourselves while we live out life in this skin. With these emotions comes a great deal of responsibility. We are not wild beasts of the field lacking self-control, but people made in the image of our Creator God (Gen. 1:26). We have a great deal of emotional and mental flexibility so God has also given us free-will and self-control. Learning how to utilize our emotions to obtain and experience satisfactory outcomes will empower us to live an emotionally and mentally healthy life. We can be disgruntled and not take it too far; to the point where we are self or other-harming, and we can be gruntled and remain well balanced also.

It was the joy of our Heavenly Father, as he knit each one of us in the womb to knit our emotions into the fiber of our being, into our soul. To know he had given us the ability to express ourselves and communicate our thoughts and feelings in a reasonable way.

As Solomon wrote the person who lacks self-control is like a city with its walls torn down (Pro. 25:28): that’s dangerous for us and others. May God grant us the self-control and discipline we need to be as emotionally healthy and stable as we are spiritually healthy, and give us a sound mind and liberating self-awareness to know when we need the help of professionals to achieve healthy mental and emotional frames of mind and behavior. Let’s Pray,

Dear God, what a wonder we are! You have created us in your image with the ability to live out this life as people who can think and feel, process and act upon our feelings. With our emotions come a great deal of responsibility so help us to be responsible toward ourselves and others. Help us to express ourselves in ways that glorify you and honor the way you created us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen .                     

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