Getting Past What You're Feeling

I don't know if the advice still stands, but experts used to say the best way to debate with someone was to start with "I feel..." There's no arguing with that because they have no idea what you feel and they're pretty sure they can't change your feelings.

Feelings are a powerful motivator in lives, and it's not for our good. Feelings can vary, can override common sense and lead us into places we never should have gone in the first place.

Feelings. Nothing more than feelings. Right?

God created us to have feelings, but not to be ruled by them. Those feelings are what allow us to experience happiness, sorrow, righteous anger and a little healthy fear every now and then. Without feelings, we'd be ugly little robots moving about on the face of the earth.

What God tells us in His Word is how to manage our feelings and understand that they're not in control. Using His truth, we can get past what we're feeling and be a better vessel for His use.

1. Just because you feel it doesn't mean it's right.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9

The heart wants what it wants. What a crazy statement that supposedly frees us from responsibility and consequences. Our hearts want different things at different moments, pretty much minute by minute. We can't rely on them to be accurate, truthful or even good in those moments. Instead of acting upon those fleeting feelings, we need to step back and see what the facts behind the feelings are, checking to make sure we're heading in a holy direction.

2. If I just follow my heart, everything will be OK.

He that trusteth his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. Proverbs 28:26

This is one of those movie clich├ęs that sounds good, but isn't backed up with Scripture. In fact, several verses, including this one in Proverbs, say just the opposite. Just because you feel it doesn't make it right. (See #1 again) Success in God's eyes comes from following Him, not your heart. You ca't serve two masters (Matthew 6:24), so choose this day who you will serve - your heavenly Father or a feeling that will probably go away in an hour or two.

3. Given the opportunity, feelings will take me farther than I really want to go.

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Proverbs 14:12

Feelings tend to be stronger than our logic or patience. Acting on those feelings can be dangerous to our bodies, our emotions and our testimony. Feeling angry is fine, but yelling, stopping around and throwing things aren't. This may seem overly dramatic, but feelings lead to actions. When we act upon a feeling that's not rooted and grounded in God is dangerous ground. It may seem right at the time, but after the moment passes, we have to inspect the damage left in its wake.

4. Trusting God should overrule a feeling any day.

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 1 John 3:20

It's easy to trust a feeling because those emotions are part of us. But when the power we've placed on those feelings falls through, it's a destructive thing. We all have moments of weakness where our feelings are concerned, but understanding Scripture, knowing where to find the answers and abiding in the Lord will give us an escape clause every time.

Feelings are important and can warn us of trouble or tell us when we need help, but they can also be dangerous and sinful. Managing those feelings based on God's Word can make them useful tools to glorify God and bring Him the honor He deserves.

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