TROY, Mo. (BP) — What if all our deleted selfies are actually saved up somewhere?
I’m not sure how I feel about that. Sometimes I’m not sure how I “feel about feelings” either.
I started down this line of thinking when someone took a surprise photo of me and it looked disturbingly like one of those proof-of-life photos a kidnapper would send. I was even holding a newspaper.
Maybe it was the jeans I was wearing, because after seeing that photo, I realized that I have my “good” jeans, my “wear these to Walmart” jeans and my “oh so you’ve given up altogether” jeans.
I’m not one to be emotionally driven, but I do admit I all too often let my feelings on the jeans I wear — and so many other things — push me around.
It can happen when I hit a life-snag, for instance, and it doesn’t feel like anything remotely redeemable could come out of it. Or when it doesn’t feel like God is responding — especially not the way I want. All those feelings can make it more challenging for me to lean back in peace, rest my head on my Father’s chest and trust that He’s got this.
Feelings can be such misleading little scoundrels. Sometimes they out-and-out lie. “The heart is more deceitful than anything else,” the Scripture tells us, “and incurable — who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, CSB). Our feelings will tell us everything is awful when it’s not. Or tell us everything is fine when it’s not. It’s almost like they can hold the truth for ransom.
Those rascally feelings will try to blow up our faith-life, working to convince us that focusing on that one big problem is exactly what we should do, while completely distracting us from seeing the big picture.
Feelings! You’re not the boss of me!
It’s not about making a resolution to “stop feeling.” Feelings are a gift. We don’t delete them. We were created with the capacity to feel, care, love and experience emotion. Life would be dull without feelings, even the difficult ones.
Finding peace is not about denying them. It’s more about being careful not to trust them to determine our actions or responses. Our feelings need to be reined in and filtered through the truth of God.
I’m trusting my Father and His truth, not feelings. No matter what’s happening, God is not uncaring or unkind. He’s not weak or passive. He’s got this — whatever the “this” is.
We deal well with our emotions when we pay attention to keeping them in check, when we don’t let them regularly push us around, when we don’t believe the lying ones, and when we don’t let any of them ransom away our peace and our trust in the Lord. The apostle Paul said in Ephesians 5:15, “Pay careful attention, then, to how you live,” then he tells us how to do that in verse 18 when he says to “be filled by the Spirit.”
Letting the Holy Spirit influence and affect our feelings brings peace. It’s the most picture-perfect kind of peace.