We live in a world now that is totally consumed and dare I use the term, obsessed with a sense orientation to everything both natural and spiritual. By that I mean you ask anyone how they are doing and they will answer most commonly with a definition beginning with the phrase well “I FEEL”.
Humanity now registers most experience and daily challenge by these same psychological words and terms “I FEEL.” The crazy part about it is in reality life and the decisions we have to make daily have very little to do with feelings but facts. Emotionally motivated feelings and their subsequent following decisions normally bring about unstable and undesirable consequences
Survival itself does not depend on feelings, they are a part of our physiological make up but feelings should never determine our direction nor its outcomes. Feelings are very deceiving and at absolute best only a guide to the trials and conclusions we have to make concerning our daily progress and objectives. This is why many people live within the confines of limitation allowing opportunity to pass them by on a constant and repetitive basis, they just simply can not allow themselves to step outside the deceptive emotions, such as fear or rejection, that bind them to their past experiences.
The Bible makes it very obvious and blatantly clear, “WE MUST WALK BY FAITH” and faith alone. In fact the Word of God, the Bible counsels us over and over again not to rely on our fickle unreliable fancies and feelings as they are influenced by weather by nature and circumstance as well as many other transient happenings.
Concerning wellbeing, on a daily basis people begin to answer a question by relating to how they physically feel, for example, if they are confident and motivated they will declare, I feel good, but if they are cold or unsettled or even apprehensive they will be controlled and influenced by their associated feelings. Thus their confession will no longer be, I feel good, but maybe I’m feeling down or I’m feeling fearful, and this my friends is where feelings paralyse a persons progress, sometimes permanently. Past experience both positive and negative effect our opinions and as such our opinions then control our movement. This is totally contrary to what the scriptures teach us.
Feelings are our very deepest emotional responses to traumas and disappointments of our past and if they are bad ones we will avoid any repetition of them like the bubonic plague. We will just simply not venture nor go there, “period”. The deeper the traumatic memory the more resistant we will be to the recall of that experience even to such a stage where we will psychologically deny the very experience ever took place. We will erase the happening from our conscious memory, this is known in psychiatry as Repressed Memory Syndrome.
Everyone of us experience both good and bad encounters through life whether we like it or not we have to face those encounters head on in order to overcome their debilitating power and we can, there is no doubt. The sad issue is we are no longer taught to be guided by facts and principles but on the contrary we are now encouraged to be influenced and sensitised to our emotions and feelings.
I am not suggesting for one moment we revert to the old Victorian days where no one would dare express any personal hurt or pain and as a result would hold their personal grievances and bitterness within them in many cases taking them to the very grave. That type of psychological oppression is very damaging and destructive, somehow we must learn to bring our hurts and emotional scars to the surface in order to be healed. They can add to our repertoire of wisdom and understanding if we allow them to become stepping stones that lift us higher rather than grinding stones that break us down and crush us.
Let me explain in a very simple illustration how feelings can effect our lives for good or bad, one person can go through a very difficult dealing and determine the experience is not going to cause bitterness or fear so he or she decides I will treat this time of trial as a purifying period where I will ask myself what I need to learn from it. They will ask do I need to make some changes in my thinking, do I need to reassess my friendships, do I need to correct my attitudes and finally should I change my directions and geographical positions. If those questions had been constantly asked by the captain and crew of the Titanic the boat would still be afloat today as would be the case for many other similar disasters throughout history.
The problem is we think we know better and we rely on fleeting feelings and whims of fancy or opinions of so called well meaning people whose facts are simply faltering opinions of there own limited information. We must never build our lives on men’s opinions, that is just a recipe for disaster. Look at the make believe world of Hollywood and then look at the shipwrecks of men and women’s lives, those who have given themselves over to the whimsical world of public opinion. Today they are elevated as superstars but tomorrow because of some mishap or character deficiency they are treated as trash and many end their lives because they can not handle or cope with the rejection.
God never gave us an option to trust our own perverted fallen ego’s they are untrustworthy and unreliable at best and so very much open to the manipulation of those able to beguile us with flattery and empty promises which cater to our fleshly craving for acceptance, self worth and identity insecurities. In fact the Bible warns us over and over again that the prophetic truth of the future in reality which I believe are the very days in which we now live, would be characterised with a human obsession for self importance and perfection in every field, intellect, beauty, health, sport and every other endeavour. The cost of that would be at the expense of those who could not keep up the façade or compete with the increasing demand to be the best. The Book of Timothy stated that the last day of mans time on earth would be characterised by men being lovers of their own selves, perverted, proud, boastful, despisers of all that is good and decent, untrustworthy they would no longer accept sound principles for living but would become aggressive and opinionated to the point of total rebellion and anarchy.
Jesus warned us the only answer to counteract this stupidity, is to build our lives on the foundational rocks of truth and Godly wisdom. His promise to us directly was that if we obeyed that and did it, we would be like a house in a time of storm that would stand firm no matter what was thrown at it. So let me address the opening question Faith or Feelings Who Offered You The Option, IT CERTAINLY WAS NOT GOD. His counsel has always been, as in Proverbs 3; 5,6 to trust in the Lord our God with all our heart and not to lean on our own understanding or opinion but in all our ways we are to acknowledge Him and then he will direct our paths and feet. OBEY HIS WORD AND YOU WILL PROSPER, it does not say obey your feelings in order to prosper. YOU DO NOT HAVE AN OPTION. Faith alone is the answer whether you feel like it or not do as the scripture teaches you to do but if you want to know what to do then you had better study what he asks of you., READ HIS WORD.
Face the facts the Bible also teaches very clearly that the human mind and its emotions are an enemy of the Spirit of God and they will lead you astray taking you away from God certainly not toward Him.
The choices we have before us are clear and plain, Live by Faith not lead by your feelings.