Classes start up for me in just a matter of days and I will not have much time for writing once they do. So, I thought I would take some time today to write something just for fun. It is about feelings and how they mislead me in my thoughts, words and actions at times and my perceptions about myself and the world around me.
I call them feelings nothing more than feelings. Do you remember that song by Morris Albert? It’s kind of a cheesy song but it adequately describes how I can let my feelings, which, after all, are just feelings dictate how I’m, well, feeling about myself and the world around me.
Let me give you an example. Today I was on a walk stewing and wallowing in guilt about how much screen time my kids have had lately and feeling like I was a bad parent for not controlling it more. Usually, on my walk, I like to spend some time in prayer so as I walked, I found myself uttering something like this, “Lord I feel like such a bad parent these days. I feel like I’m always making poor choices and parenting out of those poor choices. I feel like I’m failing miserably at this parenting thing.”
And suddenly it dawned on me. In my prayer, I had used the word, feeling three times in a row. And it made me wonder something. Am I letting my feelings dictate how I perceive myself and the world around me?
The problem with feelings? They’re not facts. They’re not based in truth. They’re based in emotions. And just because I feel like something isn’t going well, or I’m not being a very good parent, or I’ve been lazy lately doesn’t, in fact, mean that these things are true.
I once heard it put this way: If we let feelings or emotions lead the way in our spiritual life, we’re letting the caboose lead the train. What we should be led by is facts, facts based in truth and based in faith.
Just because you feel like a bad parent doesn’t mean that you are. Just because you feel like you’re lazy, doesn’t mean you are. I’m not saying feelings aren’t valid, but they shouldn’t’ be the leader in your life. They shouldn’t’ dictate what you think about yourself, other people, and the world around you. Truth should do that.
Today, because I was feeling like a bad parent, it turned me into a grouch and I treated my children in a grouchy way. I wasn’t parenting out of faith and truth. I was parenting based on my feelings and my fears. And I don’t’ think anything is done well or properly when it’s based in feelings or fears.
While I couldn’t find any good verses about emotions or feelings, I did find one about fear. Which, after all, is another feeling, another emotion and not a particularly good one.
Isaiah 8:13 -14
Do not fear anything except the Lord Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear him, you need fear nothing else. He will keep you safe. (NLT)
Did you catch that? If we fear God, we need fear nothing else, not even our feelings. So, don’t let your feelings be the engine that drives your train. Put feelings in their proper place and let faith and truth be your guide. In that Spirit, I will sign off. ‘Til next time.