The Case Against Feelings

What if our feelings were not designed to be stuffed down, figured out, rationalized away or dismissed? What if DIY (Do it yourself) Christianity was not a God given doctrine, but a devil device to condemn believers? What if God who made us in His image, images us with emotions?

Jesus displayed a variety of emotions as His sandals accumulated the dust of this earth; anger, compassion, sadness, blood-drenched stress, etc., but He submitted all to His Father’s will. We too have a myriad of emotions and have learned (to attempt) to control them ourselves. With the old adage, “Now, a Christian doesn’t act like that, tsk, tsk, tsk.” Or “You had better control yourself, what kind of witness will you be?” Well if you try to control yourself, you will be a shameful witness, because He told us in our weakness His power was made perfect. It is through submission to Him that He is glorified! We humble ourselves under His Mighty hand and He exalts us. We are not instructed to exalt ourselves with self-control. For self-control is the fruit of the Spirit. We do not conjure up self-control, anymore than we conjure up joy; they are the fruit of His Spirit, alive in us. To attempt to control one’s emotions and distance ourselves through human effort is akin to buddhism; detach ourselves from reality, consider not what is happening or what you are feeling, in fact pretend it isn’t happening.

Emotions are a part of our God-given design, if we cut ourselves off from them, we cut ourselves off from Him; because to ‘know’ Him is an experiential process not intellectual. It is not that emotions in and of themselves are wicked, but that they have been perverted, by the one who loves to hate us when our first descendants in the Garden sold them to satan. Jesus our Redeemer lives, in us and emotions are redeemable through Him. Sometimes we are terribly hurt, betrayed lied about or to; this will cause emotions to arise. We are not to figure our way out of them, white-knuckle it, or divorce ourselves from what we are feeling as we hear the enemy slither in and whisper (or shout), “SSSSSurely this isn’t Christian-like…” And we respond with, “Oh no, I have blown it again, why can’t I be more like Jesus?” You can’t….. without Him. And who has He sent? Holy Spirit. We are to call on the Comforter sent to us, who abides in us to help us. That is humbling ourselves before the Mighty hand of God.

Over and over and over in Scripture, God reminds us He is for us, is strong when we are weak, is there to give us anything we pray in His name (including peace), takes our cares, and burdens, guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus and gives us grace that is sufficient. So attempting to control one’s emotions is saying to Him, “No thanks, I can do it myself; you take care of the starving children.” This is the height of false humility. When, instead He cautions us to come to Him like little children or we cannot even enter into His kingdom. That is a daily entering. We are always His children, never the adult in the relationship between Father and son/daughter. The enemy would prefer you to beat yourself senseless trying to manage feelings that are impossible to control or sort through them without the Maker of those feelings. God says to be angry and not sin, not that being angry is a sin. Since when did feelings other than happiness become evil in and of themselves?

If we really are ONE with Him, then when we cut ourselves off from feelings, we cut ourselves off from feeling HIM. That is like Buddhism that empties the mind of all earthly attachment by the human will. Forced detachment.  That is Buddhism’s greatest goal, perfect detachment. That is not the greatest goal of Christianity. Our greatest goal as believers is to yield completely to Him in everything. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me doesn’t mean try to mimic Him, it means you are (even your emotions) totally His, ONE in union. We are told, that we can do all things through Him and nothing without Him. We have become afraid of our own feelings, for fear they will carry us away, but if we yield them to Him, He will carry us away. He doesn’t condemn us for feelings, but we have condemned ourselves/others for lacking self-control. Yet the One who gives us self-control is the Holy Spirit. So yielding to Him is what we focus on, not hiding from, struggling with or manipulating our feelings.

My Grace is sufficient does not imply, it is sufficient for you to be self-sufficient. If we cut off from our feelings, suppressing them, we will feel dead. Instead He wants us to give them to Him, let Him take over our hearts, let Him deal with the discomfort through us as He abides in us. He is the vine, we are the branches. We will feel separate from Him if we struggle to overcome emotions on our own. Independence from God is always a ruse of the enemy with a heavy price to pay. If we are feeling good about ourselves because of ours effort, we are missing it, and are on the road to destruction. The enemy is hissing around the corner, reminding us we didn’t need God again. Yet when we feel good about ourselves because of Him (our being One with Him) we live in truth.

Emotions being something we are meant to avoid or disparage is the same lie that the body/flesh is intrinsically horrible....another dirty rotten lie of the enemy.... Holy Spirit  heals, cleanses and redeems our bodies through His power, not ours. It is the same for emotions. He says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Well He made us with emotions, so they are also made likewise. He can just as easily deal with emotions as He does with cancer. Healing is healing to God, as He is not a respecter of persons neither is He a respecter of ailments, emotional or physical. Instead of detaching ourselves from feelings, we should invite Him into them, to take hold. Detachment from our humanity is not the key, attachment to Him is….He offers fullness, let us take Him at His word.