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How Does God Feel About Feelings? – When Emotions Mislead

Faith and FeelingsKey Bible Verse: The hotheaded do things they’ll later regret; the coldhearted get the cold shoulder.  – Proverbs 14:17, The message

Dig Deeper: Proverbs 9:7-9

Some years ago I made a presentation to a group to whom I was accountable for leading an organization. I was asking authorization for something I wanted to do, and they said no. I did not respond well. I became silent, probably sullen, and for the rest of the evening I spoke only when spoken to. Even then my voice must have been edgy. After the meeting, a friend steered me out the door and into a corner. His words, I shall not forget.

“You know, your behavior in there was not very classy. Those people were there to help you and to save you from making a bad mistake. But if they learn that you don’t like hearing the word no on occasion, they’ll stop telling you what they think, and you’ll have to face the consequences all on your own.”

My friend’s rebuke prompted an examination of my own emotional reactions. He was right, and I knew it.

What I learned that night has stuck with me for years and years. When I feel things going against me and feelings of anger or resentment begin to rise, it is time to stop and ask what is happening. Is this for the greater good or not? Is God speaking through this moment, or isn’t he? I must not let my emotions mislead me.

—Gordon MacDonald in A Resilient Life

My Response: What is my usual response when things don’t go my way? How might Gordon’s two questions help me in the future?

Thought to Apply: Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it.—Vincent Van Gogh (French painter)

Adapted from A Resilient Life (Thomas Nelson, 2005).

Prayer for the Week: Dear Father, thank you that you are a God who feels deeply and that you created me with deep feelings, too; help me to own my feelings and learn to express them in ways that bring honor to you.

 

 

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