Feeling Bad

I think I get a bit of a bad rap for my position on the whole area of feelings.  Some say they are afraid to use the word around me, and clap their hand over their mouth if the dreaded "F" word pops out.  It is in some respects amusing to me, but it also brings home a lesson I must repeat over and over to my counselee's.

If we are to be biblical Christian women, we must not live by our feelings, no matter what our feelings are.

I know this rattles so many of you! The number one that so many women tend to live by their feelings. This is one of the reasons we suffer so with emotional ups and downs. I have been told by women who struggle with depression, anxiety, PMS, and other issues that how they feel determines what kind of a day they have. Often, the first thought of the day is, “How do I feel” and if it is anything less than “good” the day is ruined before it even begins.

So here is where I firmly state that I am not anti-feelings. God has given each person a “package” of feelings and emotions. They are a part of the hard wiring that makes us who we are. Some women have more awareness of their feelings and some have less. Having feelings is not a problem, for if we had no feelings we would not enjoy sunsets, picnics, music, love, family, or anything else God created.

I am not an ice maiden, and believe me, I have plenty of feelings and emotions! I know some of you wish you only had happy feelings. I know this because I hear this phrase constantly from people, “I just want to be happy.” However, if you did not experience sorrow you would not know joy. If you did not experience the ugliness of life you could not appreciate the beauty.

I believe the Bible teaches us we must live according it's truths and principles which very often contradict our feelings.

This is why the changes we seek must begin in the inner man or the heart. If you desire to change how you feel, you must become aware of how you think, and what you think about. If you are thinking about all you don't have, if you are envious of those who have good marriages, or those who have a husband you are going to experience sad feelings.

If you think about how unfair everything is, and you think you are being denied things you are entitled to, you will be angry and discontent.

If you think only about all that is wrong in your life, how your job stinks, how you're missing out on the best things in life, you are going to be miserable. 

Your feelings are the results or products of your thought life. When you know what is going on in your thoughts you can apply correct theology to your wrong thinking. (That is assuming you have correct theology! That is a topic for another day…) 

If you want to overcome, you must retrain yourself to think rather than to simply emote. I would also tell you to be aware of the need for balance. It would be unwise to examine every thought, or mood. You would never get anything done!

When you experience feelings that are particularly strong or problematic, do some self-examination and determine what the cause is. Use objective, biblical questions that will lead you to a biblical conclusion. I also suggest you seek wise counsel and accountability from someone who knows you and will help you to apply God’s Word to your life. Choose someone that can help you by telling you what emotion they see in you most often. Then ask the Lord to help you to understand how you are responding as a result of these emotions, and how you can overcome them.