It's More Than a Feeling

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"I know it's right because I feel it".

How many times have we heard that? Have many times have we said it ourselves. The media thrives on people living by this concept. We seem to live with the idea that if we feel something "in our gut", then it must be true. We tend to think that being a good little human means living based on emotions and our feelings.

But here's the problem- we are flawed, sinful humans. Yes, we are redeemed, and yes, we have the Holy Spirit if we belong to God, but our judgement, feelings, and emotions are still tainted. They will be until we get to Heaven.

The problem with this whole "I feel it in my gut" thing, is that we carry it over into Christianity. Suddenly, the leading of the Holy Spirit becomes about how we feel, instead of a matter of discernment and truth. Yes, sometimes the Holy Spirit leads in random, strange ways. It isn't always a cookie-cutter formula, but it will never contradict God's word.

There is a Youtube video floating around out there somewhere, that shows a pastor talking to his congregation. He says in the video that one day God told him to drop-kick an elderly lady, so he did...I'm not making this up, unfortunately. And you see, we can think a lot of weird things. We, as twisted humans, or even by the whispers of the devil, can certainly come up with the idea to drop-kick an old lady. But God? God is not going to tell you to do that. How do I know? Read His word. It's full of words about kindness and gentleness, and about helping and loving the elderly. If God is calling you to do something, it is not going to contradict His word.

And I know that the "drop kick an old lady" thing is kind of over-the-top, but people do similar things all the time. People were convinced that the world was either ending or that the rapture was coming in the year 2000, so they sold their possessions, made an underground bunker, and prepared for whatever was to come at the new year. Their were some really good people who were convinced that God was telling them to do those things. But that wasn't God.

Conviction is about discernment too. You don't just say "I'm convicted about this because I feel this way". That is what the people who wouldn't eat the food that Paul talked about in the Bible were doing. And it's the same thing some well-meaning churches are doing when they think alcohol, dancing, and women wearing pants is wrong. They are going off of what other's told them and then they feel guilty about it, so they think it is the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Instead of functioning that way, there should always be discernment added to feelings. We need to discern through Scripture why something may be wrong or right. We have to look past our feelings and past surface issues, and into the heart of the matter. Do we think something is wrong (or right) just because someone told us so, or just because we feel a certain way about it?



My former pastor once said, "Just because you feel or think something, doesn't make it true". As simple as that statement is, it really spoke to me, because I am really bad about going by feelings. That is why I am passionate about speaking out against it. I often condemn myself and call it conviction, or feel something and call it the Holy Spirit. Sometimes it is, but sometimes it isn't. Sometimes how I feel has nothing to do with what God is saying, and yet I slap His name on it and call my feelings "His leading". That is a very dangerous game. That is why it is so very important for us all to study Scripture and be discerning about our "gut feelings". Don't call something "God" just because you feel it.

Are you prone to going off of feelings without being discerning? How can we all do a better job of finding that balance where we are led by God freely, and yet we still use wisdom and discernment?


15 comments

  1. THIS IS SO GOOD: "The problem with this whole "I feel it in my gut" thing, is that we carry it over into Christianity. Suddenly, the leading of the Holy Spirit becomes about how we feel, instead of a matter of discernment and truth. Yes, sometimes the Holy Spirit leads in random, strange ways. It isn't always a cookie-cutter formula, but it will never contradict God's word."

    Thank you so much for this post!

    And I wasn't aware of the drop-kicking pastor. Outrageous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Tawni! That means a lot.

      Delete
  2. That's so horrible about the drop kicking! What?! I think and feel things all the time especially when I haven't had my coffee. But, I don't go around doing it. That's not how to behave. I love your post. Love your pastor's quote. It's so true.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a great reminder Kristin!! How true that just because we feel something doesn't mean that it is true!! SO often in our society we are run by feelings and that is the way that we make decisions. I remember reading an older book by James Dobson entitled, "Emotions, Can you Trust them?" for a college class and it expressed some of these same thoughts. What a great reminder for this day!
    Blessings,
    Rebecca :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rebecca! I appreciate that!

      Delete
  4. I came across people who do the same.. and yeah Christian are 'prone' with this. "God told me to do this.. that." The question is what voice you heard. Holy Spirit, or your own heart desire. Anyway... I once red a book by John Piper titled "THINK".. it talks about this stuff, and I agree with him. We are called to love God with heart and mind.. it's not only about feeling but also thinking. 😊

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is so beautifully written. And so true! Makes me think about the TV show Scandal, the main character is always acting on "her gut". A lot of the time her gut is wrong and she's biased by emotion or what's in it for her. The same thing applies to Christianity I think. We want something so it automatically feels right in our gut. When, like you said, it could be the whispers of God or the Devil. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep! And likewise, some people are even prone to false guilt, so they will feel "convicted" but really they aren't doing anything wrong.

      Delete
  6. This is such a thoughtful, well thought out post! I love what you wrote: "If God is calling you to do something, it is not going to contradict His word." Amen! - Trish

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have definitely been run by feelings. It gets kinda hairy when you have depression in the mix as well and trying to explain it isn't all a power of the will.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, Sammy! Anxiety and depression can often mask themselves as voices. I understand completely!

      Delete
  8. This really speaks to me! At church on Sunday, the sermon was about how just because sometime sounds authentic, doesn't make it true. Our pastor was referring to the slave girl in Acts who appears to be 'cheering' on Paul for showing a way to salvation. It sounded like she was being authentic but it was not, she actually had a dark spirit inside her and was referring to 'a God' with 'a way' to salvation instead of 'the God' with 'the way' to salvation!

    ReplyDelete

Affiliates