People live by their feelings more than anything else much of the time. If you listen, you’ll hear people talk about how they feel more than just about anything else. I wonder sometimes if we’re serving the god of our feelings more than the God of the Bible.
For example, I’ve heard people say, “I don’t feel like God loves me.” Or “I don’t feel I have a future.”
The Bible clearly says God loves us and that He has good plans for us. But when we believe the lies the enemy puts in our mind over the Word of God, we will feel like the lies are true and then live like it.
The Danger of Emotional Living
Emotional people make big mistakes when they base decisions on how they feel rather than obeying God and doing what they know is right. We have to learn how to live beyond our feelings and do what’s right even when we feel wrong.
I’m frequently asked how I feel about things, such as “Joyce, how do you feel about traveling?” I’ve learned not to live by my feelings, so I tell them, “I don’t really ask myself how I feel about it.”
You see, if I let my feelings “vote,” I just might decide not to do what I know I need to do. I don’t always feel like traveling, especially on long trips that give me jet lag. And I don’t always feel like staying in a hotel.
But I’ve decided to follow God’s will for my life and not let my feelings dictate what I do. I’ve learned to let what the Bible says dictate my decisions. That means I’ve set my mind to be a blessing to others and make right choices that honor God.
What Determines How You Live?
How often do you say, “I feel like…” or “I don’t feel like…” and then do what you feel? Do your feelings dictate how you treat people? Or what you say? Do feelings run your life?
You may be thinking, Well, I can’t help how I feel! I agree. I can’t help how I feel at times and I’m not going to pretend I don’t feel anything.
Emotions will never go away, so we must learn how to manage them and not let them manage us.
There are times when I have felt insecure about speaking at a conference, but I decided to trust God and have confidence that He would help me. Then, when I stepped out to teach, the feelings of insecurity went away.
There are times when I’ve been angry with my husband, Dave, and felt like giving him the cold shoulder. But when I decided to pray and ask God for the grace to forgive him or ask for his forgiveness, I’ve had the ability to treat him the way God wants me to.
Use God’s Strength to Manage Your Emotions
The apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that God’s grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in weakness. And Philippians 4:13 (AMP), he said, I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]
The key here is refusing to be passive—waiting for an outside force to move you or make you feel like doing something—and making a conscious decision to do what’s right.
I want to encourage you to trust God to help you do the right thing even when your emotions are pushing you to do something different. God is faithful and He’ll always give you the ability to do whatever He tells you to do.