Feelings Vs. Truth: Building your life upon God’s unchanging Word
by Leslie Ludy
God is not human, that He should lie, not a human being, that He should change his mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill? – Numbers 23:19
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. – Edward Mote
Among the most popular messages of our society today is the proclamation, “Follow your heart!” The culture has conditioned us to place a very high value on our own desires and emotions. In fact, we are encouraged to base both our major life decisions and our daily lifestyle choices upon how we feel. “Don’t know what to do? Just listen to your heart! Do what feels right to you!” This advice permeates everything from love songs to children’s movies.
But God gives us completely different directions when it comes to our heart and emotions: “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26a) and “The heart is deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9a).
As attractive as the “follow your heart” message may seem, adopting this mindset can be toxic to our spiritual lives. When we allow our emotions and whims to lead us, we become subservient to our feelings instead of to God’s Spirit and His Word. Following our heart cultivates an attitude of selfishness rather than one of surrender. We cannot become the bondservants of Christ if we are controlled by our feelings.
Elisabeth Elliot wrote, “The difficulty is to keep a tight reign on our emotions. They may remain, but it is not they who are to rule the action. They have no authority. A life lived in God is not lived on the plane of the feelings, but of the will.”
When we let our feelings lead the way, we end up making a lot of unwise, ungodly, self-focused decisions—and making a mess of our lives. We also become prone to “picking and choosing” our truth—receiving the things that make us feel good, and rejecting the things that don’t.
When we accept only the parts of God’s truth that appeal to us personally, and dismiss all the rest, we cannot receive the “whole counsel of God” (see Acts 20:27) and we end up with a distorted “truth” of our own making…
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