Tuesday, February 10, 2009

when feelings mislead

I'll never forget words spoken by one of my seminary professors for whom I have a most high regard: Dr. James Grier. He stated something like he had found most of the time that when he went with his feelings in making a decision (I take it, difficult decisions), he had been almost always wrong.

How can feelings mislead us? I think they can when our motives are not in accordance with God's revealed will found in God's word, in Scripture. Or we can have peace over something related to the decision to be made, yet not squarely on the decision itself. We may have some fears to overcome and matters to think through more clearly, in counsel with others, and with ongoing prayer.

God is always at work in our lives, and in Jesus that work is not going to stop. We can rest assured in that. Perhaps some of the issue is to let God help us get to the root of our fears. No matter what we face, including mistaken or bad decisions along the way, we know that nothing at all can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I know this is sketchy. But is there any insights on this you might like to share? Or any thoughts?

8 comments:

preacherman said...

I think feelings do and can mislead us in the wrong way especially when we trust our heart in anger, hate, revenge, and negative emotions. I know there have been so many times that I have got myself and others in trouble when I was mislead by my feelings. When being lead by God and his Spirit you can never go wrong. Isn't God good?

Lanny said...

I always get just a little confused when the conversation goes to "feelings". Once again it just seems too long for a comment. Just to say, are feelings the problem? Or is the problem our not taking them captive like thoughts (isn't that what they are) and make them obedient unto Jesus?

nAncY said...

i am a living breathing bundles of feelings that want to be happy, comfortable, pain-free, loved, and accepted.

i run on feelings generated by so many different things from outside and inside of my body. a strong yet delicate system that is flawed.

i do not want the hurtful, painful, dark, angry, longing, fearful, or lonely feelings.

i do not see an excape from feelings and desires, or escape from making decisions apart from them, but, i do see that God goes through the feelings and decisions with me.

Mama K said...

OH, wow, what a question! Our feelings matter so much to us in this culture! Aren't we always told to "follow your heart"? Truthfully though, feelings can sometimes mislead. I might fall desperately in love with the wrong person and marry into a life of misery, right? Or I might never do a great thing because of fear. yet love and fear - and other feelings - can also help us make wise choices. We need to balance our feelings (emotions) with the facts that we know, take the input from trusted, godly friends, and then compare it all to Scripture, with lots of prayer.

There are other feelings besides emotions, too - that moving of the Spirit leading us to do something, or even just plain intuition. All these feeling, though, need to match up to what God's word says. With prayer and a heart of obedience, we'll get the answer. Sometimes after the thinking and the praying, I need to start moving, before waiting for a clear answer. Then I trust that God will continue to guide me or close the door to that opportunity if it's not where He wants me to be.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Preacherman,
Yes. That reminds me of the works of the flesh as opposed to the fruit of the Spirit, in Galatians 5, and our need and call to walk in the Spirit.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Lanny,
Yes, I'm not one to live on feelings as I've said before on this blog.

I guess one needs to see the complexity of things here. One can have the peace of God about something, but that peace can be misunderstood.

I can have the peace of God when I finally give the future in reference to a certain fear I have completely into God's hands. But that doesn't mean some decision that I made related to that is in itself the right decision. Probably clear as mud, but I must move on, having gotten up late!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
I think your last point is gold. Yes God knows how each of us are made, and yes, God goes with us through it all!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Mama K.,
Good words! I agree. Thanks.