My feelings roll and rage like a rushing river. At times they laughingly flow over smooth rocks and other times they tumble and roar over dangerous rapids. If I were given the option to cross a mountain divide by climbing a narrow path or floating down the river, I would choose the mountain path. I have a greater fear of drowning than falling. But sometimes I feel I’m drowning in my feelings even though my feet are firmly planted on solid ground.
I ride the Feelings River and wonder if I’ll manage to hold on or if I’ll survive. But I do survive and soon I find myself languidly floating on a calm stretch of water. I forget the fear, the tossing and turning and feel the warmth of the sun and watch the clouds flit and flutter across the blue, blue sky.
I feel tranquil yet aware that another set of rapids could appear suddenly. Our emotions are like a winding river. We experience turbulent and tranquil times. When we’re in the tranquil moments we feel strong, loved, secure, but when we’re in the turbulent waters of strong emotion our security is threatened, our world turned upside down and life looks threatening. There are days I wish I didn’t feel.
Our feelings are not the problem. It’s the decisions we make when we’re in the midst of feeling the feelings and our feelings deceive us into making bad ones.
Deceit is a little bit of truth mixed with a lie.
We might feel rejected and it can be true: Parents reject their children. Children reject their parents. Friends reject each other. The bank rejects your loan request. The publisher says no. The contest says loser. These are true things that happen. But our feelings take the facts and add a dozen other non-truth’s to the situation and pretty soon we’re twisted into believing a lie that says we’re not acceptable and that we deserve to be rejected.
Emotions are indicators. They are diagnostic and can be used for our healing, but when we allow them to deceive us into making bad decisions, the enemy gains a foothold in our hearts where he can wreak havoc. God made us with emotion and called us good, but we have an enemy that uses deceit to prevent us from knowing who we are in Christ and who Christ is.
The thing with feelings? Their intensity surprises us. Their absence worries us. Our feelings can run our lives rather than the Holy Spirit. And when emotions rule our lives we experience constant chaos, but when the Holy Spirit rules our lives we have a guarantee of peace.
My feelings may say I am not enough. But God says I am enough.
My feelings may declare that I am not worthy, but God says differently.
People may reject me, but God accepts me.
Friends may forsake me, but God never will.
Feelings use the circumstances of our lives to keep us locked in bondage to the ways of our flesh. We will be rejected, forsaken, inadequate, or unworthy because life is hard. But when we’re locked into following our flesh, transformation cannot happen. We cannot be transformed until we change the narrative in our mind.
“For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:8
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
What are you listening to? Are you listening to your feelings whisper deceit to you? Or are you listening to the word of God speak truth to you?