Yes. Feelings matter!
We hear rational warnings about trusting feelings. I agree, but let’s not discount the symphony of our emotions. They are talking (singing? playing the musical score?) and helping us discern and think better.
And, Yes. Thinking matters.
We don’t hear as many warnings about thinking in our “doctrinally-correct” gatherings. Yet, we can be blown about by thinkings, doctrines, persuasions, creeds, traditions, and knowledge. (Ephesians 4:14) Thinking appeals to our self-preservation and can “puff “us up with false security (I Corinthians 8:1-3).
Still, thinking matters.
Let’s appreciate both feeling and thinking. Together they help us discern directly with the Lord and our inner-person. Beware of those who muscle their way into our individual holy temples, set up their tables, and teach us to exchange our “good money” for their “special money.”
We are empowered to discern all things. We have The Anointing and need of a teacher (1 John 2:20, 27; 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22) although we can teach each other (Romans 15:14) as we learn the give and take of loving, listening, discerning, and serving .
Are you feeling the love? I think so!
I walked up to a church this morning and was greeted by Paul, the official greeter. We talked for a few minutes and then he called up his wife, Jill. I said, “I’m Tim. I’m a visitor but I’m family.” Her eyes looked confused as she didn’t know how to respond. I reassured her there is only one family of God and I’m a part of that and so are you so we’re family. Now she got it. The smile came. As the conversation continued I sensed if I continued in the direction they were talking about, I might get deeply emotional. I thought, “I can direct the conversation away from that, or continue and get emotional.” I chose to go the emotional path. I did weep for a bit in sorrow. They understood. We were practicing family within a few minutes of going from stranger to family status at a traditionally surface oriented “greeting” job – something for gregarious lay people and not for the high-stakes paid staff. Neither of us will forget that encounter for a while. It could have easily been the sterile shake and move on routine. God had prepared me to embrace something more that sterile.
When the Lord takes your wife to heaven, you become a more emotional person. Why was I not a more emotionally involved person before this event? I can say I had failed to be responsive to God’s emotional promptings in the past. He had to get stronger with me. I now have a window into the deep emotions God feels regarding his people, and all people. We have emotions because he has emotions.
In the brief time I was at this one church, I spoke to 3 other men who had lost their wives in death. Perhaps we all had the same need to wise up about emotions and the power of God that flows through them.
Thank you, Tim, for your tender vulnerability in sharing about your loss. I get tender reading this. I’m so glad “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort” brought his tender compassion through you to others last Sunday! I’m also encouraged by you because you are “getting better, not bitter” as they say. Shalom!