Renovating the Heart of Kingdom Leaders - Part 16

Learning to Surf Your Emotions

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Dr. Mark Mayfield joins Gary Wilkerson for a conversation on mental health and self-awareness. Dr. Mayfield explains the important distinction between emotions and feelings and talks about what can happen when someone takes the time to know their own emotional state.

Key Points from the Podcast

  • There are great lessons we can learn if we are willing to sit with the discomfort, pain, and struggle of our emotions.

  • In the church, we sometimes hear that we don’t live by feelings, but by faith. The truth is somewhere between the two.

  • Dismissing your emotions is not the answer. Ignoring your feelings will only make them worse.

  • Emotions are your body’s physiological response to external or internal stimuli.

  • Feelings are how we make meaning of our emotions based on past experiences, upbringing, culture, language, etc.

  • Principles are how we choose to relate and respond to our emotions and feelings. For example, when you get angry you might choose to suppress it rather than examining it and dealing with it.

  • In the psalms, we can see very clearly that David was a man who did not repress his emotions but expressed them and brought them to God.

  • Learning to navigate your emotions can be a lot like learning to surf. At first the waves may toss you; you may fall; but with practice you will start to recognize the rhythms and ride things out.

  • Christ experienced emotions just as we do, yet without sin. Emotions like anger are not sin but we sometimes respond to them in sinful ways.

  • Dr. Mark Mayfield concludes his time with Gary Wilkerson discussing five ways that we tend to avoid our emotions.

Bible Verses Referenced in the Podcast

Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 61; James 1:22

Episodes in this podcast series:

About Dr. Mark Mayfield

Dr. Mayfield is a former pastor, a licensed professional counselor (LPC), a board-certified counselor, and founder and CEO of Mayfield Counseling Centers.

He has more than 14 years of professional counseling experience in clinical, judicial, and faith-based counseling settings across a wide range of patient demographics. Mayfield has professional experience in treating and addressing anxiety, depression, and PTSD, substance abuse, domestic violence, self-injury, and suicide. He is passionate about the integration of faith and mental health.

Dr. Mayfield recently launched his book, titled “HELP! My Teen is Self-Injuring: A Crisis Manual for Parents”  which addresses his own suicide survival story, self-injury, and how to help your child who might be going through this. His second book “The Path Out of Loneliness: Finding and Fostering Connection to God, Ourselves, and One Another”, published through NavPress/Tyndale House, released September 2021.

He has been featured in prominent media outlets including Woman’s Day, Hello Giggles, NBC, Reader’s Digest, Byrdie, and more. Dr. Mayfield is on a list of mental health professionals that was invited to the White House in December 2019 and has had periodic calls with the White House to discuss mental health in America.

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About Gary Wilkerson

Gary Wilkerson is the President of World Challenge, an international mission organization that was founded by his father, David Wilkerson. He is also the Founding Pastor of The Springs Church, which he launched in 2009 with a handful of people. He has traveled nationally and internationally at conferences and conducted mission ventures such as church planting, starting orphanages, clinics, feeding programs among the poorest of the poor and the most unreached people of the earth. Gary and his wife Kelly have four children and live in Colorado Springs, CO.

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