Just Telling What I Feel

by Doy Moyer

That our culture has been trained to act more on feelings than objective truth and reality is evident in so many ways that it hardly needs proving. The outbursts of anger, the murders, the sexual abuses, the lack of civility, the completely irrational denials of reality, and more are ever before us and do not seem to be waning. Feelings have overtaken facts; it is more important that we do not hurt feelings (as defined by … feelings) than that we deny truth and reality.

Unfortunately, the feelings-over-truth paradigm is also found among believers in God. We define what it means to glorify God by what we like and feel rather than allowing God to define what He wants. This is evident in the worship-for-entertainment industry. Some seem to be more interested in being rock stars for Christ than humbly submitting to God’s expressed will.

Humility must control feelings. Feelings can be arrogant, selfish, and demanding of others. What matters is what I feel. Me. Not you. Me. Humility, however, constrains and limits how we allow our feelings to outweigh the need to submit to God and others. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves” (Phil 2:3). This is the mind of Christ.

Feelings are not a proper source of truth. We may feel otherwise, but then we have entered the vicious circle of defining truth by our own desires. That lie can be traced back to the garden. When we allow that to happen, then we will inevitably let the flesh take over the Spirit.

Herein is the difference between letting our feelings take precedence over truth and vice versa: “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5 — really, the whole chapter; and while you’re at it, the two previous chapters … and the whole book).

What will define your actions today? The flesh (your feelings) or the Spirit (God’s will)? Feelings are very good followers, not leaders, of truth, but we must first give way to that Truth in Christ so that our feelings will do what they were actually meant to do. Therein will we be set free from sin (John 8:31ff).

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