23rd August 2023
Feelings Are Not Facts
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What does the Bible say about feelings?
A truth that has anchored me in troubled waters is this: feelings are not facts.
Even in our deepest emotions, we must remember that our feelings, while real, don't always mirror God's unchanging truths.
Remember, our emotional storms don't define us. It's God's steadfast love and His truth that anchor us.
Every single one of us has experienced a burst of emotion.
It can be triggered by a moment of intense excitement, or it can come from a deep and overwhelming sadness.
We can become consumed by our feelings, and we may stop thinking logically.
When we let our feelings control us, we may sometimes start to believe that our feelings are facts. Are our feelings facts?
The Bible provides many references and teachings about emotions and feelings, acknowledging their complexity and importance in our human experience.
Jesus, who was fully God and fully human, displayed a range of emotions throughout His life. He wept, felt deep compassion, and experienced anguish, indicating that feelings are a part of the human experience.
The Bible also teaches that emotions shouldn't dictate our actions or beliefs.
Proverbs 14:29 advises,
"Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly."
The Psalms are full of raw emotional outpourings, yet they always return to the truth of God as our refuge and strength.
Love Above All: The greatest commandment is to love God and love others. This can be an emotional commitment, but it's also a conscious decision, revealing that our actions should be guided by love, not transient feelings.
In fact, the way that God designed us is to have emotions. Emotions are a big part of what makes us who we are.
They should be a guide, but not a leader.
Our emotions can often betray us; the negative and harmful traits are part of our fallen nature. However, this does not mean that we should allow them to control our thoughts and actions.
Just because I may feel useless, hopeless, unlovable, and worthless doesn't mean I am. This might seem obvious to some, but emotions can be convincing.
Recognise feelings for what they are: feelings; not facts, not the truth, not edicts.
God gave us our feelings and emotions for a reason. They are not evil by themselves, but what we allow our thoughts to dwell on may be negative and in turn will cause an unhealthy overload of negative emotions.
Strong, evil emotions may lead to adultery, abusive behaviours, stealing, and other evils. At other times they may be full of love, happiness, joy, and peace.
God created us with emotions to enrich our human experience and equip us for relationships - with Him and with each other.
As human beings, we are created in the image of God, and part of that likeness includes our emotional capacity. God Himself exhibits emotions throughout the Bible - love, joy, anger, compassion, sorrow - and thus, our ability to feel emotions reflects a key aspect of His nature.
Emotions serve as a universal language that can transcend cultural and linguistic boundaries. They enable us to understand each other more deeply and promote empathy and connection.
Our emotions can serve as motivators for our actions.
For example, love can motivate us to sacrifice, joy can motivate praise and gratitude, and righteous anger can lead to justice.
Feelings of guilt or shame can indicate when we've done something wrong and lead us to seek forgiveness and make amends.
Managing emotions can lead to the development of virtues like patience, self-control, kindness, and perseverance. The Bible encourages us to bear the "fruit of the Spirit" - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
However, while emotions are a gift, the Bible also teaches us not to be ruled by them, as they can be fleeting and deceptive.
I don't believe God intended for our feelings to guide us.
He wants that job.
God wants to be our guide.
Our feelings should not be what drives our decisions, but rather an indicator of what's going on inside us.
We must check our feelings at the door of the Word of God.
Un-edited version and Bible references avaiable, on request
Hello! Welcome to my blog, heart, and kitchen table.
I'm Starla, the author behind coffeewithstarla.com.
I am a trained Biblical Counsellor and Professional Life Coach with a specialization in soul care and grief/loss.
I've battled many hard ups and downs in life and I use my life experiences and training to help bring awareness and encouragement to Christian women who are going through hard times.
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