Thursday, October 08, 2009

faith and feelings

In the near future (or not too distant) we will be looking at Matthew Elliott's book, Feel: The Power of Listening to Your Heart. I have found it an interesting book and I'm not really sure if it contradicts, or refines what I believe on the subject of feelings, or not.

Feelings certainly are important. We're humans and feelings are a big part of what makes us human. Our emotions are surely a reflection of being made in God's image. God while in essence not human- though having become fully human in the Son, Jesus- still is said to have emotions. Some think that is only an accommodation by God to us. But surely it is more. God's love and anger is more than just decrees that come from a passive, unemotional being. Of course God's emotions are untainted, without sin, and God is unlimited unlike us.

I can't live on emotions and feelings. Often, being a morning person, I'm naturally more into things and "psyched" in the mornings, and especially more so than in the afternoons, during which I'd do well to take a nap. I live by faith, in spite of feelings many times. But feelings do come and we need them. I should feel love toward my wife. I should feel love toward God and toward others.

I see feelings as an important byproduct of faith. Normally they should be present in some measure, but if they're not that doesn't mean our faith is empty and void, or unreal. There is "the dark night of the soul." We need to press on in faith, and press through to the reality of God in Christ by the Spirit, and in community with others in Jesus, for the world. And we need to live this faith life out, with all that accompanies it, through everything.

Much more to explore on this, and if you're interested check out the book I refer to above.

What thought might you have on this?


Every Square Inch said...

While feelings shouldn't control us, it's a necessary element of living as a Christian, I think.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes. Absolutely. I agree. To love God and our neighbor should be heart felt, if we're following Jesus and experiencing the work of the Spirit in our lives.