I Can’t Stop This Feelin’

The counselor’s refrain, “How does that make you feel?” serves its purpose in particular settings but should not be used as a mantra for all of life.  Yet, many people insist on living as if the sun rises and sets on their emotions.  While it is true that few things fire and fuel to the degrees of aroused passions, it will be necessary in life to function, at times, in spite of or in contradiction to personal feelings.  Make no mistake, this world is being run by people who don’t feel like going to work, are not inspired by their circumstances or are heartbroken by situations beyond their control.  We call such people dependable because they can be trusted to show up in fair or foul weather.

There are a certain number of people who steadfastly believe they cannot act discordantly from their emotions.  Those who refuse to make attempts because “they don’t want to” are not the ones of whom I speak.  Rather, these persons are persuaded that their feelings run so deep as to be deemed irresistible by any reasonable measure.  To the observer, such seem tossed by the whims of chance.  Doubtless, we can be judgmental of things we do not understand, but it is mystifying that some plow through life’s difficulties at great expense while others jump track (if not ship) at seeming small occurrences.  We all have worked with the guy who never missed, as well as, the whiffer.
 
Many people convince themselves that anyone would react in the same ways they do under similar circumstances.  This is the balm they use in justifying their actions or, mostly, lack thereof.  Experience, as well as, a lifetime of observation has shown me that this is not true.  While, I am full aware that no one controls all eventualities, certain brave souls buck up and eat the bear before it eats them while others get their feet stuck in the train tracks.  As one who has been overwhelmed, it is not my desire to discount anyone’s pain, only to challenge us to see beyond ourselves when we are frustrated, realizing the same issues are accomplished in others who overcome.

When emotions run high, we feel out of control.  How can a person be expected to not surrender to seeming endemic inclinations of unknown origin?  Incidentally, this is the reason many view their deep feelings as from God though they run contrary to His Word.  As with all things, the answer is found scripturally in that we make even our imaginations captive to Christ.  While this is easier said than done, God would not have instructed us to do the impossible.  We are to bring our secret and substantial leanings to Christ and surrender the things we feel helpless against to His lordship.  Wonderment in my life is that long-held feelings have submitted themselves to the Master.

With great effort, we control our emotions and thoughts.  Some comfort may be had in that feelings are flexible and take turns of themselves with little real change in our lives.  However, work will be required to manage our emotions.  Fortuitously, we find that feelings follow doings and not the other way around.  Rather than waiting for inspiration, we should act, howsoever we feel, and satisfaction will follow.  Such gladness of spirit will be found in the accomplishment of tasks, as well as, the overcoming of obstacles.  While it is completely understandable that we believe ourselves to be at the mercy of our emotions, there are human and divine resources for spiritual struggles.

We should do what we ought to do and not become victims of our very human thinking errors.  It is natural to try and avoid unpleasantries, but it is not ultimately possible.  In life, you will be knocked to the canvas any number of times, but learn to get up and continue the fight.  Please do not allow yourself to be driven by changeable and unreliable emotions.  You can control the way you feel and influence your predilections and drives.  There are natural resources at your disposal which have been used by determined people over time.  Superior to these is the power of God and the presence of the Spirit available to every believer.  God can reach the things deepest inside you and me.

Sterl

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