Friday, June 24, 2011


Feelings & Toxic Turmoil

How many of us make daily decisions based on feelings? You flirt once again with that redhead at the water cooler. Or you eat an entire large extra meat pizza on the way home from your annual physical that revealed your triglycerides are three times higher than the health standard. Why? You felt like it. It comforted you. Or worse, you cross the line and begin a torrid affair of adultery, betraying vows to your mate by way of serial infidelities. When asked by your confessor figure why you did it, you clumsily explain that you felt the need for validation that you were still attractive to the opposite sex. Or perhaps you had the feeling your mate took you for granted and a new partner might fill a vast ego need.

Feelings. The bank has been robbed. The thief is now in custody. He’s grilled under hot lights. Why? He explains under duress that the feeling was overwhelming that there was no other recourse. He had lost his job. He was behind on house and car payments. He felt helpless and emasculated. He didn’t want to do it. He didn’t mean to do it. It just sort of happened.

Most adults have developed some code of ethics, or at least a moral standard for determining right from wrong. Those of us who use the Bible as our source for understanding moral behavior should have an advantage over others who have developed their moral values within a secular mindset. If that is the case, why do the elect of Christ behave as secular souls by basing their decisions and actions on feelings rather than on moral principles based on objective truth?

Adults are not children. Why state the obvious? Because we seem to forget that “foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.” Children act on impulse. They “react” rather than thoughtfully act. They push. Why? Because they feel like it. They grab; whine; posture; spit; stick out their tongues; cry and consistently do as they please. Why? They feel like it. There is little cognitive evaluation of any given scenario. Why? They have yet to be taught. They have yet to learn and to mature so as to be able to make wise and moral decisions. Chaos ensues.

We live in a world of chaos. Why? Because mature people behave immaturely. They make small and large decisions based on emotions and what drives them to feel a certain way. “You shot that man because you felt like it?” Society suffers from toxic turmoil because feelings trump thoughtful contemplation. Spontaneity pushes aside reflection. The higher moral ground gives way to the need to feed our feelings. The result? Lives are destroyed. Economies collapse. Marriages crumble. “She said I was sexy. I couldn’t help it.” Battles are waged. Disorder wins.

What is the point? Satan wins every time—every single time when we allow our feelings to override the will of God. Those who know not God and haven’t a clue concerning the rules of engagement that produce joy and peace and hope at least have some reason for their errant choices. But we are without excuse. We have tasted the heavenly gift. We have been enlightened by the living and abiding word of God that is able to save our souls.

Love God and do what he says—even when you don’t feel like it. Turn right and go straight—even when you don’t feel like it. Jesus didn’t say, “If you love me do what feels good/right at the moment.” No. He said, “If you love me, obey me.” It seems to me that most of the woes we bring upon one another are created by actions based on feelings. Feelings aren’t bad or wrong per se, but they must be sifted first through the word of God, the Bible.

Next time feelings fight to dismiss better judgment, ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?” Better still, ask, “What would Jesus have me do under the circumstances?” Then do it. Why? We aren’t here to feel good but rather to glorify God and obey him regardless of how we might feel at the moment. Feelings aren’t sinful, but they surely aren’t to be obeyed. Feelings are to be felt, that’s all.


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