Feelings and Truth
I have been meeting with various people these last weeks both in and outside of the Christian faith. One of the things that has struck me is how much we rely on feelings to be our barometer, guide, truth definer.
It feels right to me so it must be true, or I don’t feel like God is giving me peace in this situation so it can’t be right, I can’t meet you today I don’t feel up to it and so the list goes on. Or put it another way, it feels so right how can it be wrong?
I am not here to bash feelings and to say we can’t rely on them at all but I am here to say they are not the highest authority. Let me put my case;
Have you ever started the day thinking things are going to go awfully and come home time things have gone great or vice versa. Or let me give you this illustration, a couple arrange to meet to celebrate their tenth anniversary things have been rocky in the relationship and the man hopes to rectify things somewhat by taking his wife out to their favourite restaurant. They arrange to meet there after work but the husband is late, the wife checks her watch and her ‘feelings’ begin to become angry. An hour later she is still waiting and has begun to curse him and fume. Her feelings are all over the place. Meantime, this man has been involved in a car accident and is critically ill in hospital. If she had known the ‘truth’ her feelings would be very different. In other words, her feelings here certainly did not indicate the truth of the situation, as she relied on her feelings she was led into a false place.
I hope you can begin to see the reliability of our feelings should not take centre stage, they are a helpful indicator, one source of information in a plethora of possible avenues. That sip of cold beer on a summer afternoon feels good and is good! Feelings do sometimes speak truth but we cannot rely on them only.
I spoke with some friends of a different belief system today who when present with a plethora of other evidence and information did agree that it seemed to point away from there system of belief, but because theirs felt right they would stick with it. Basing their whole life, whole eternity on a feeling they likened to the feeling you get when you drink hot chocolate!
It has been a faith affirming week for me as I have re-examined the evidence to back up the truth of the Bible, archaeology, outside historians, prophecy contained within the bible, personal experience/feelings, and of course the God man Jesus himself. Not only does Jesus make himself known to my feelings, but my mind, my heart, reality and history. As these lines converge and cross over they paint a picture of a face, a person….his name, JESUS.
Jesus wants our whole person to meet with him. Sometimes your feelings will be wrong. Sometimes we need to examine truth to see clearly, we have a solid rock in God’s word, examine it and let it shape your feelings.
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