Too Focused on Feelings?

Posted on January 8, 2013 | 0 comments

Over the break, I read a book by a popular author about the power of the Gospel as the center of a person’s life. Great premise. In the middle, there was a section on feelings that attempted to make the case that our feelings are not real. The assertion was that because we are too focused on our emotions we allow our feelings to guide our thoughts and behaviors.

Denying the reality of feelings causes people to fight the wrong battle, to ignore their emotions, and to put on their best behavioral mask around others. This is wrong. The Bible validates the reality of anger, but teaches that we are not to be led into sin by it.

Feelings and emotions are real, given by God, and they are intended to tell us something.

It is true that we are too prone to allowing our feelings to determine our thoughts and behaviors. We do more of what makes us happy and seek release from negative emotions. In either case, usually at the expense of another.

We act for our Self. Jeremiah says the reality is that “the heart is deceitful above all things  and beyond cure.”

But the problem is not that we focus on emotions too much.

The problem is that we follow our emotions, but do not consider our emotions. {Click to Tweet this if you like.}

We follow our anger into sin rather than considering its source.

We act on our lust rather than confront what it is we are attempting to satisfy.

We barricade ourselves from our fear instead of determining why we are afraid.

It is easier to act than to reflect. Yet, emotions are a reflection of what our heart and our identity is connected to. That becomes the power of the life centered in Christ.

It is all about identity.

Is my heart in Christ or in my Self? That is the battle between the old, false self and the new, true self in Christ. Our instruction is to deny our Self daily. Place the source of our identity in Christ.

Above all else, guard your heart,  for it is the wellspring of life.

That proverb sounds like an instruction to consider our emotions and determine the root of our identity. Is our heart bathed in the light of Christ or in the darkness of our Self?

Only from a heart in Christ can behaviors pleasing to God follow. For the glory will not be for building up our Self, but the glory of our behaviors will be for Christ.

Do you follow your emotions or consider their source? How do you notice the difference?

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