Feelings can be frightening, overwhelming a heart to the point of desperation and misery. Or prisons, entrapping one to past experiences, traumas or memories. Often they become future proclamations, declaring over us, “What was, always will be. You’ll never escape this emotion.” Feelings, on the other hand, can be amazing, liberating and soul-rejuvenating. Just think of the best day of your life!
What do we do with them?
Up, down and all around – they move like the wind. Like a hurricane or an underground rocking that shakes the foundation of who you are. I get all this. I know how anger has made me act, in days of old. I remember getting all up into my sisters face. And the feelings of self-annoyance I perpetually lived with. The depression that made me feel like there was no good way out of life.
Feelings can be fun, or no fun. They can be old and then haunt us again.
Yet, just because they show up on our doorstep doesn’t mean we have to answer the door so they stay forever. We are not obligated to say, “Come on in and make yourself at home.”
I fear some of you have done this. Sadly, now old feelings are cramping your good style. They’ve spread out all over the space of your soul, heart and mind, stealing your attention on God, negating God’s good plan for your life and telling you that there’s no way you can be enough.
People ask me what to do with “feelings”?
Well, I think when we see them at our doorstep, we peep out the side window and first acknowledge them. We allow them and we even bring them to God. There he is again, “Mr. Disappointment” I see him there, trying to get in. God, what do you think about this? What does your word say about hanging out with this emotion for too long?
Then, with wisdom, we decide whether or not they can sit in our house for long periods of time.
We can do this by asking ourselves a few questions:
1. Are these feelings going to cause me to dwell on what is “true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy” or lesser things? (Phil. 4:8) Are they leading me to life or death?
2. Are they reinforcing God’s truth or are they backed by lies?
Example: If God says he is “for us”, we would not be wise to dwell in hopelessness that believes, “God is not for me.”
3. Are they helping me to love God (and others) with all my heart or do they cause me to pull away from this?
If we’re called to do all things in love, anything contending against it should be heart-checked.
Friends, we don’t have to declare our initial feelings as “bad”, ignore them or hate ourselves for them. However, we do need to see them for what they are, quickly, and make moves to let Godly-facts take precedence over wavering-feelings.
Why? Because sadness soon turns into isolation. Rejection soon turns into depression. Anger soon turns into a division. Loneliness soon turns a bottle. You get the picture.
Don’t make a long-term resident of a feeling that should only be seen as a passing-by door-to-door salesman. Yep, Kelly sees you there wanting to sell a whole bunch of stuff, but God’s got a better word than you. She’s listening to truth, over feelings. And letting that be her guide…