“Feelings nothing more than feelings”. Those are words I’m sure most of us are familiar with as we sing along with Morris Albert. It is simply a song about feelings of love. What I have come to realize is that feelings lead to many different things and true love is rarely one of them.
As one who has spent much of my life lead by my feelings I have learned a few things.
Feelings are often mistaken as truth. People will base life changing decisions on how they feel at that very moment. One day the marriage is good and a couple feels so in love, another day they are at each other’s throats and feel hatred for one another. “I feel that I don’t love you anymore”, “I have feelings for another person”. “I don’t feel like working here anymore”, “I don’t feel loved by anyone”. “I feel hopeless”. The list of feeling moments is endless. The point is whether they are feelings of euphoria or depression people tend to believe what is in their mind based on how they are feeling at that time. It is a dangerous way to live.
I am not saying don’t feel, what I am saying is that we need to meet feelings with caution and challenge them with truth. God has given us emotions and feelings but we must learn to use them in a way that is not destructive to ourselves or others. The Bible says “be angry and sin not” (Eph. 4:26) this scripture tells me that God is aware that we become angry, but it also tells me that we must challenge those feelings of anger and use self control to keep from doing something foolish with those feelings.
There are negative feelings that we follow into bad situations but we also follow feelings of excitement and euphoria into some questionable situations as well. It is a big mistake to think that because it feels right it is a good decision. We are a society of pleasure seekers, that seeking is often led by feelings.
In the religious circle I have witnessed “hype” movements that had people upbeat and excited about the things of God but when the excitement wears off those same ones back down because they no longer “feel” God. A relationship with Christ should not be based on feelings. He does not move in and out of our lives based on how He feels about us that day. We should not base our relationship with Him on how we feel either. Good feelings can be a blessing but not the driving force in our lives.
My husband has pointed out several times in the past how I was acting on my feelings. Once I could challenge my feelings of anger at him for pointing out my weaknesses (lol) and see the truth in what he was saying, I realized how much of my life had been guided by feelings. I think this will be a life long challenge, but recognizing it has put me in a position to take action.
As I watch others destroy their lives with choices made on a whim based on feelings, I am reminded of two things. First is that we are to have self control and the second is that we do have a choice with what we do when feelings pop up. I am ashamed of some of the choices I have made in the past when confronted with feeling of anger, jealousy, hurt, insecurity, pride etc. I know I have done damage with my words or actions but my goal for the future is to be more careful in how I react to my feelings.
If I truly love others than my response to my feelings would not be so impulsive as I would contemplate the results before wounding another.