All my people-pleasing pains came to the surface last week as I stepped into someone else’s online conversation. It’s unlike me to do this. It’s far more likely that I’ll think about what someone said but I won’t brave saying my thoughts publicly.
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 saying following the phrase, “feel like” is an attempt to describe the impact our feelings have on us.
Feelings don’t lie. They tell us important information. We grow in emotional health when we explore feelings further, especially through reflection and vulnerable, honest time with God. When we take time to consider what’s going on and why, we can learn so much. God has much for us to teach 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.
If you’d like to go into this topic further, join me on the Jolene Underwood – Facebook page for a live video on feelings.
Facebook live videos at 11:00 AM Central:
Willing Wednesdays – short topic coverage on steps that help us grow emotionally healthy and spiritually mature
Friday Features – resources (books, articles, courses, video, etc) that help in the journey towards emotional health and spiritual growth
Try this exercise:
Think of one recent event that triggered hard emotions. Answer with each of the following sentence beginnings, separately:
I feel like…..
Feelings don't lie. They tell us important information.Click To 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.Click To Tweet