There’s wisdom in knowing when to speak up and when to stay silent. I’ve definitely been in the throes of learning this. Also, I think a whole lot of us could learn to talk less so we can become better listeners.
In this case, I chose to speak up. Hopefully, it was kind and helpful.
What was said that caused me to jump in?
“Your feelings will lie to you, but Scripture never will”
Why in the world would I jump in when I HATE confrontation? And isn’t there truth here?
I’m passionate about why I responded with what I did. About what emotions are telling you.
I hear a lot of people saying that our feelings lie to us. It just isn’t true. Saying they do can actually cause us to hyper-spiritualize our concerns and cause greater shame and even legalism.
Instead of growing emotionally healthy and mature we become more emotionally stunted.
I want to see Christians living unstuck from the things that hold them back. I want to see Christians cultivating a life well-lived through emotional health and spiritual growth.
When we are growing emotionally healthy, God is glorified in us and through us. The world is impacted as a result of Christians alive in Christ.
There’s something I am willing to keep in mind. When people say this phrase (feelings lie) I think they are referring to something else. It has more to do with opinions, observations, and interpretations than it does actual feelings. In this case, there was a frame for this statement based on a man saying he feels like he should leave his wife. This is NOT a feeling. There is a difference.
The difference is more clearly seen when we use the phrase, “I feel like,” as a preface to describe what we understand about what’s going on in our lives.
If we honestly describe our authentic feelings when we say, “I feel….”, then it is often much different than what we identify when we say, “I feel like…”
The difference being that the feelings we have (sadness, happiness, frustration, hurt, loneliness, etc.) inform us of the state inside of us. The feelings aren’t wrong or right, they are what they are.
What we say following the phrase, “I feel like…” is often an attempt to describe the impact our feelings have on us.
Please note that there are belief systems and experiences tied to our feelings. All the emotions we have should come before God for His truth to speak so we can receive comfort, conviction, and guidance on what to do with them.
Will we isolate?
What will it take for us to tell God what we feel honestly?
Will we leave room for Him to speak?
Could we choose to courageously receive and repent if needed?
Our “feel like” statements begin to frame a conversation around what those feelings mean to us and what to do with them. In this phase of talking about our situations or circumstances, our belief systems make choices that impact our actions.
If we chose to rely only on ourselves, and our flawed filters, we will make decisions based on feelings that can be harmful to ourselves and others.
This is not your feelings lying to you. It’s what you believe and what you choose to do that speak untruth. God must always be the source of our truth and when difficult feelings surface, He can help you work with them into a redemptive purpose.
Try this exercise:
Think of one recent event that triggered hard emotions. Answer with each of the following sentence beginnings, separately:
I feel like…..
[socialpug_tweet tweet=”Feelings don’t lie. They tell us important information.” display_tweet=”Feelings don’t lie. They tell us important information.”]
[socialpug_tweet tweet=”When we are growing emotionally healthy, God is glorified in us and through us. The world is impacted as a result of Christians alive in Christ. #emotionalhealth #spiritualgrowth” display_tweet=”When we are growing emotionally healthy, God is glorified in us and through us. The world is impacted as a result of Christians alive in Christ. #emotionalhealth #spiritualgrowth”]
[socialpug_tweet tweet=”What’s the difference between saying ‘I feel’ or ‘I feel like?’ Find out why the difference matters for Christians who want to grow spiritually and emotionally healthy. @theJoleneU” display_tweet=”What’s the difference between saying ‘I feel’ or ‘I feel like?’ Find out why the difference matters for Christians who want to grow spiritually and emotionally healthy.”]
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Thank you Jolene my sister in Christ. I’ve ALWAYS taken issue with “your feelings will lie to you” It caused so much inner conflict trying to accept that as truth. The operative words as you said, are impact and action. That’s the defining difference when using “like ” THANK YOU AGAIN!
Finally another christian gets it.
Thank you for taking the time to comment and share your thoughts, Chauntele. I’ve been concerned that this statement has caused harm to people which is one reason I believe it’s necessary to speak up on it. I’m sorry for the conflict you’ve endured. It sounds like the Spirit was prompting you towards a healthier way of identifying with emotions. 🙂 I love hearing that!
I feel like I’m growing more emotionally healthy these days but my husband of 41 years definately is not!!!😢