Hooked on a Feeling
How are you feeling? Are you doing ok?
As humans, we have a broad spectrum of feelings. If you Google “list of feelings,” you will come across lists with over 100 feelings. And we are capable of feeling many things at the same time. Due to the complexity of our emotions, it is often difficult to nail down exactly how we are feeling.
I sincerely hope you are doing well.
How do we reconcile our feelings with truth?
Of all the feelings we have, only a very few can be considered bad or sinful – pride, lust, jealousy, hate…
And only a few feelings can be considered good – love, joy, peace, hope…
The rest are simply feelings, neither good nor bad. Excitement, for example, is just an emotion. It is the object of our excitement that makes it good or bad. When you feel humiliated, it is neither good nor bad; it is a feeling over particular words or actions. And that feeling can help you constructively move past the words and actions that triggered the humiliation. Anger is on this list too. Anger is not bad or sinful. It is what you do with the anger that turns it into sin. When anger hurts others, hurts your relationship with God and others, or hurts yourself, then it becomes sin. But mature, controlled anger will help tell you which direction to move to constructively resolve.
So, most emotions are like a barometer. A barometer is a gauge that measures air pressure in the environment. Your emotions are just the gauges that are telling you where you are and what direction you need to go.
The danger is feelings can distract us from the truth.
You may feel unloved. But the truth is you are loved and worthy of love (Jeremiah 31:3; 1 John 3:1).
You may feel things are hopeless. But the truth is there is always a positive step you can take (Proverbs 3:5-6).
You may feel God is silent. But the truth is God is actively moving to make Himself known. It is often our spiritual listening skills we need to work on (Psalm 46:10).
You may feel you are a mess. Well, you are. We all are. But you are a beautiful mess. And Jesus loves beautiful messes (John 8:1-11). And through the lens of grace, God sees no mess at all (Psalm 103:12; Ephesians 2:8-9).
Sadness is another emotion that has no inherent goodness or badness. Sadness is a healthy gauge over loss. We all experience losses to varying degrees. Loss of property, loss of life, loss of health, loss of relationships, loss of trust, loss of employment. Your sadness may be from an unresolved loss from long ago. The sadness you feel is ok. It is letting you know where you are. It is letting you know that there are some things to resolve in your soul (your head and heart) instead of remaining a victim to the impact of the loss.
It is important that feelings not distract from the Truth. Your feelings are important gauges, but do not get hooked on them. Be hooked on the Truth.
If you know the Truth, you will know that you are loved and you are in Christ. These truths, and many others in God’s Word, will remain true regardless of how you are feeling.
As we more fully grasp the Truth, we will more fully have greater love, joy, peace, hope...the good emotions.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life…” -- Jesus.