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Beyond your feelings

August 21, 2012

My feelings guide me accurately sometimes. Other times, they completely betray me.

Feelings are good indicators but terrible leaders.

When you feel down what do you do? When your feelings are “hurt” what do you do?

If you’re like me, you’re tempted to embrace and dwell on those feelings.

There’s got to be a better way. So what can you do? After all, feelings are a powerful inner force!

I want to boss my feelings around instead of the other way around. So here’s a formula that’s been helping me take control of my feelings:

1) Truth > 2) Thoughts > 3) Actions > 4) Feelings

Notice that feelings are last. When I feel something I need to quickly compare it against what I know is true. The power of your feelings will often die in the shadow of the truth.

When I think (meditate) on the truth and then act on it, my feelings will fall in line. Why? Because feelings are good indicators but terrible leaders.

Isn’t it interesting that the Bible doesn’t tell you how to feel? Instead, Scripture (truth) instructs you how to think and act knowing your feelings will ALWAYS follow.

Let me give a personal, recent example:

On Saturday my entire family went on a garage sale tour around town. This is rare for me because I don’t enjoy this type of adventure but I wanted to “take one for the team” and be with my family. Early in our drive my oldest daughter asked my wife, “Mom why is Daddy going with us anyway?”

Honestly, that immediately hurt my feelings. I felt unwanted and under-appreciated. I spent a few quiet moments thinking about how I felt. (My real inner battle was rather to let feelings or truth lead.)

Then I asked myself “What do I know is true?” The truth is God gave me these wonderful kids. I am the only Dad they will ever have. They need me to be mature enough to lead them and reflect God’s love instead of sitting and sulking. Remembering that truth, I decided to act on it.

I took a deep breath and calmly talked to my daughter about why she had asked her question that way. We talked and then before long we were all excited about our adventure again which lasted more than two hours. My feelings quickly followed my actions. Wow! I’m so glad I didn’t miss out on that moment because I allowed my feelings to lead.

What do you do when your feelings want to overtake you? Are you choosing to live life beyond your feelings?

  1. Larry Valenzuela permalink

    “What do I know is true?”
    An excellent question to begin any inner dialogue!
    Thanks for sharing Mark!

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