We live in a society that places a great deal of importance on feelings. Of course, feelings are at the essence of the human experience. From anger to love to envy and jealousy and everything in between, our feelings can help us navigate the choppy waters of this world or they can make those choppy waters feel more like a hurricane.
I have found a growing trend among the people I meet and minister to on a daily basis: Many have placed such a high priority on their feelings, the other guiding barometers are off of the radar screen.
Let me give you a perfect example.
When you wake up in the morning, do you feel like getting up and going to work? If we were honest, most of us would prefer to sleep in, take a long shower, take a nice stroll around the neighborhood, and maybe watch a movie or two. My almost sixteen year old daughter would say the same thing about school. But, if we allowed our feelings to control us, most of us would be unemployed, poor, and hungry.
Marriage is another fantastic example. If you have been married for any significant length of time, then you know there are moments when you don’t feel like being married. Some of you may be chuckling under your breath that those moments can extend well into the weeks or months or even years. Yet, marriage is a spiritual commitment or covenant we make with another person regardless of how the winds of emotion are affecting us at any given time.
Placing too much importance on our emotions can lead us to be miserable more often than not. Miserable couples wind up either in therapy, divorce court and sometimes both.
Feelings tell you that you deserve to feel wronged and to seek retribution; Faith tells you to forgive and move forward.Feelings tell you that your needs should always come first; Faith moves you to care first for your family, the people in your life.Feelings can lead one to profess undying love one day and utter hatred the next - sowing pain and distrust; Faith will provide a sturdy rock, patience and kindness in your family life.Feelings will let you down when you can least afford it; Faith will never leave you, never forsake you, and never harm you.Feelings make you focus on yourself; faith leads you to seek and to sow good.I believe there is a way to corral your emotions and find more peace and happiness - it's with the power that can only come from our Creator.
He designed us as an empty vessel that requires a fuel source to operate correctly. You don’t put water in your gas tank hoping it will get you to the grocery store. In the same way, human experience isn't the proper 'fuel' for your spirit. That power source is called the Holy Spirit. The force that created everything that is seen and unseen is the very same entity that wants to empower us to follow God in truth and spirit.
God wants us to humbly ask Him to change our feelings. He wants us to work through the negative feelings that we all have and move toward the positive aspects of faith and feelings that come as we seek Him with all of our being.
When we begin to operate the way God designed us, we begin to place less emphasis on feelings and more emphasis on faith.
God wants to reign in our feelings and not erase them. He wants to help us train our feelings to do us good and not harm. Allow your heavenly Father to train you. When He is done, you won’t even recognize yourself. And you will be happier for it.