“I feel fine – or at least I don’t feel bad – so God and I must be on good terms.”
“You can’t trust feelings, so you shouldn’t pay any attention to them.”
“Why don’t my emotions always line up with what I know is real?”
Any of these thoughts sound familiar? As we fight for joy in Christ… as we fight to see Him as He is… our feelings get involved. Do they matter? Can we trust them? What should we do with them?
“I feel fine about God, so he and I must be doing o.k.”
Somehow it has become popular to define reality by what we feel.
“If they love each other, it’s ok. If the music makes me feel good, who cares what it says? If it makes me mad, it must be wrong. If it feels good, do it.”
If our feelings were always accurate, no one who feels safe would be surprised by a thief, a diagnosis, or a betrayal. No one who feels strong would be out-run, out-jumped, or out-lifted. No one who feels smart would fail. No one who feels rich would get that annoying “non-sufficient funds” message at the ATM.
So should we judge our relationship with God by how we feel?
“Don’t feel anything for God? Don’t worry about it.”
But sometimes we go to the opposite extreme and try to ignore our feelings, stuff them, silence them, kill them, numb them, demonize them, etc. Perhaps it is a reaction to the previous attitude of deifying our feelings. Or perhaps it is because we just don’t know what to do with them and they are too painful to have around.
Next time: “Why don’t my emotions always line up with what I know is real?”