My poor husband recently had a rotten tooth extracted and with the local anesthetic, he felt and looked much like this pug! But the upside is that there was no pain during the procedure. He did not feel a thing!
Feeling physical pain is sometimes easier than dealing with strong feelings and emotions. Over the years I have often heard it said that, “feelings are neither good or bad.” They are somehow neutral and natural. It is what we do with them that can result in something negative or positive. Feelings and emotions drive us to do so many wonderful or horrible things.
Today’s verse seems to support the idea that our feelings are normal and natural. When we feel jealousy, we are following our normal human inclination. However, some feelings, though understandable, are absolutely wrong in God’s sight. Jealousy is one. Our God is a jealous God but we are never given that right. Hate is another. The hate does not even have to lead to action to be wrong (Matt. 5:21). When one lusts for someone other than a spouse, it is as wrong as the actual act of adultery (Matt. 5:27-28). Feelings matter.
Of course not all feelings are wrong. But just because it feels normal does not mean that the Lord approves. My heart is deceitful and ready to excuse every feeling for whatever reason (Jer. 17:9). My heart is all about those feelings that motivate and shape my life. Controlling them, dealing with them and sometimes confessing them is only possible through His Spirit!
Lord, help me evaluate my feelings in the light of Your Word.
(Look familiar? This is a re-post due to summer ministry schedule.)