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    "You are really cool you are married to an European!! How cooler can you be??"
    Fisherman Pecheur

    "Smarty Pants"
    Mad Matt

    "Oh, you did not ask for Bonhoeffer's opinion did you? You wanted mine..."
    the SOFYST

    "You are like the master at this "feelings" stuff!
    Kind Kristi

    "I enjoy your comments, but they are always delightfully enigmatic"
    Dyspraxic Fundamentalist

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

You have no right to feel that way!

This article is one of two I plan to offer and was prompted by a discussion at bLOGOS.

Have you ever heard that? Perhaps you’ve even told someone else to control his or her feelings. While the intent of this demand is most often with the best interest of the person receiving the instruction, the instruction itself is a request to do the impossible. What? You mean we’re not supposed to control our feelings? Nope. I mean it’s impossible for us to control our feelings! At first glance this may seem contrary to every thing you’ve ever been taught about bringing yourself under subjection. In reality a clear understanding of how God intends for us to resolve our feelings is essential to every aspect of learning and especially in learning to develop an ability to control ourselves.

It is a popular misconception that so called “bad” feelings or thoughts are evil and vile which in turn means that to have them is to be an evil or vile person. Too many people suffer terribly from unresolved feelings of guilt as a result of believing this fallacy. Feelings and the subsequent thoughts they arouse are not by choice, they are consequential. We can no more decide how to feel than we can decide to no longer thirst or hunger in the absence of food and drink. The thoughts those feelings produce are not by choice but occur to make us aware that something in our life is in need of attention. If we ignore these critical warning signs and reject them as unholy or evil then likely we’ve played right into the hands of the deceiver and we’ll fail to learn the lesson God wants us to learn. While it is true that we do not control our feelings or their associated thoughts they should not control us either. Our decisions are limited to what we will do and say and this is where we should focus our consideration. If we accept this as a process that God created and apply our understanding we can learn to control ourselves and to glorify God in our actions.

The process begins with a belief. We believe something to be true and our decisions in what we do and say reflect this belief. If what we believe is untrue then our actions will be contrary to our intent, resulting in an unexpected outcome. Quite often we are mentally unaware this has occurred because we are persuaded that what we believe is true yet for no apparent reason and often out of the blue someone does or says something that provokes our own feelings of discontent which in turn immediately cause a negative thought. If we strive to live in accordance with God’s will we will stop at this point and take time to be holy. If we fail to take the time to seek his will, we most often react to our negative thought with evil considerations that culminate in a sinful action. The evil began with our consideration, not with the negative thought or feeling. They were given to make us aware that we were deceived. Try to remember that not all that feels bad is bad and most certainly that not all that feels good is good. Every feeling should be accounted for and every thought brought under subjection. This makes it vital that we acknowledge these feelings and thoughts rather than try to push them away.

Finally let’s address the question of rights. Too often we concern ourselves with how someone feels toward us rather than being concerned with what they believe about us. When confronted with negative feelings offered by a friend or loved one we often tend to become defensive and respond by attacking the one who cares enough to risk exposing themselves for our sake. When our response is an attempt to take away their right to be a person and to think and to feel we can surely expect they will keep future thoughts and feelings to themselves or risk having their right to think and feel placed in jeopardy once more. Regardless of how irrational their thoughts may appear we should consider their offering a gift not a curse and acknowledge their risk with gratitude not rebuke. We can then reason with them and make a determination as to where the problem actually lies. We may be surprised and blessed to learn we believe a lie that has prevented us from receiving the blessings that God has provided for us in that relationship.

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Blogger Kristi said...

Great ideas and understanding! You are like the master at this "feelings" stuff!

I think these are the thoughts my pastor is getting at when he says, "You can't keep the bird from flying over your head, but you can keep it from making a nest in your hair."

10/19/2005 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Kristi I know so little and your Pastor said it much better, emotions are such a complex matter. I do appreciate the comment. Now get ready, here comes one of those old fogy “when I was your age” comments…

But seriously, if I had only been half as sharp as you “when I was your age” I know I would have been a much better servant. Your article today cuts right to the heart of the matter; “Think about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it”. It took me like FOREVER to figure that one out! ;-)

10/19/2005 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger jgaoehals14962 said...

Excellent thoughts on feelings. Our feelings are real, but we are to bring them under subjection to the truth, so that the truth rules us, not our feelings.

I think about this every time some tempting sin comes my way. The sin would feel good and even seem right, unless it is confronted with the truth. It is only in light of God's truth, that the sin is seen as sin.

God bless

10/19/2005 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger Nunzia said...

Still, aren't we supposed to keep our mind on the things that are above (the good things)?

10/19/2005 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pastor, good point. Kristi’s post today was right in line with your thoughts. ;-)

Welcome Nunzia! You’re so right. Whatsoever things are true, pure…. ;-)

10/19/2005 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

I am sitting here thinking & "feeling" so grateful for knowing you even if its only on this internet. But like i have said Lord willing I will show up some day for that cup.

What you have said here is what the Lord has been teaching me for a long time. If anything we learn from this, it is that we should never tell anyone, especially children that it is ever wrong or that they should not feel what they are feeling. I can testify personally that it will take much grace and time and much pain to realize that we were lied to by the ones we looked up to and "believed" like a child believes what they were telling us is the truth. Of course most this is done out of true ignorance because they believed it too.

thanks so much for your words here, brother.

10/19/2005 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

After further reviewing your post here, I saw something that concerns me deeply.

The guy in picture talking to this child looks to have a Miami hurricane cap on his head. What concerns me deeply is that he may be influencing this young child to be a fan and that would be an abombernatin deed according to those of us who know better.

10/19/2005 10:37:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Kris I’m so very grateful to have intermet you too. I’ve been blessed in all our discussions and honestly I look forward to learning as much as I can studying the KRV. If it’s to be coffee then fine, but after dinner here at the house and there’s a guest room too because I know we’ll have much to discuss. ;-)

About the Pic….I slipped up and missed that. I do my best to avoid sports talk on here as it seems SOME people (I won’t mention any names but their initials are KRIS and PASTOR TIMOTHY and KRISTI and PECHEUR shhhhh!) are a bit on the sensitive side when it comes to their team. (grin)

10/20/2005 04:30:00 AM  
Blogger pecheur said...

What I like (dislike) is when I am angry or something and people say, "Calm down, everything will be alright." Or "Stop stressing out over that."

Oh OK. We'll get right on it. teehee =)


10/21/2005 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger pecheur said...

Just be glad UA does not play Miami this year. I'd call you a traitor or maybe even a heretic. +0:-) (that's an emoticon of a priest smiling. i think he's with the Inquistion). LOL at myself. hope you find it funny also

10/21/2005 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pech that emoticon is a riot but agin I plead innocent on the pic! O ;-) (That’s an emoticon of me as an angel)

BTW my next topic is on anger. ;-)

10/21/2005 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Nunzia said...

That's so true. If only it was so easy to just "get over" something with the flip of a switch! Fortunately, we know that God promises that we become more perserverent through our trials and tribulations!

10/21/2005 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger pecheur said...

Anger. Great. My next to worst sin.

And I would have been very angry if UA had lost to TN last weekend. =)

10/23/2005 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Would you agree if I told you that we should not attempt to control our feelings so much as we should attempt to control how we react to our feelings? I cannot yell at myself everytime I feel angry or depressed and somehow keep myself from being depressed, however, I can beat myself into submission (literally or figuratively) so as to now blow up or completely shut down...however, this is not to say that we neglect completely the idea that we have these feelings. These feelings are natural, but sometimes they come too natural. We should attempt to focus on things above (as Nunzia said), and by process of sanctification, these feelings will come less and less...always present, but not AS present.


10/24/2005 08:37:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pech anger is a sin? Hmmm…

Adam we are in total agreement on the goal of where we place our considerations. I also agree we must learn to control our selves. I think where we differ is in our attitude toward our feelings and what part they play in achieving our goal.

I am certain I have a sin nature. It’s been shown to me and I prove it constantly but that is not to say that all that occurs naturally within me is sinful. I don’t reject my feelings or thoughts as sinful. They’re natural and consequential much like hunger and thirst. I don’t struggle to prevent or alter them because it’s useless and a waste of time. I accept them. That’s when the real fight begins and that’s one, through God’s grace, that can be won.

If I first accept my feelings and their associated thoughts as a blessing given to direct me instead of a curse given to plague me, and I then accept responsibility for the things I’ve said and done that resulted in my thoughts and feelings, I can respond appropriately, that is I can take the appropriate action to bring myself into submission.

Pride would tell me to reject my feelings and thoughts; “you’re a good person and good people don’t feel or think those things”. Humility requires I accept them; “you’re not perfect and you should consider what you’ve done that leaves you with these feelings and thoughts that occupy your heart and mind draw and you away from God.”

Make sense?

10/25/2005 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger David Wyatt said...

That makes excellent sense, bro. KC. You know, not long ago, I told you that you were one of a handful of brothers in Christ I felt I could share my deepest secrets of theology with without fear of rejection? Well, I think I'm about to do that. I appreciate what you said about pride suppressing feelings & thoughts & humility accepting them & then dealing with the problem that caused them. I needed that admonition. lately, I have been plagued with negative thoughts about my beloved Savior, & it has literally been killing me inside. I have tried to suppress them, & have even thought they were of the devil, but the more I tried, the more I felt they were trying to swallow me up. I prayed for His help this morning out of pure desperation, & I experienced some joyous relief & healing, but they just keep nagging at my mind, & I believe you have hit on something here. Believe it or not, also one of the pictures you posted on this thread spoke to me about it! it's that pic of the Dad listening to his boy talking his heart out to him. That just hit me that this is how my Savior is with me! That boy has no fear that his Dad is going to reject him or beat him! He just tells him what's on his heart & his dad is listening & obviously cares about him. (1 Pe.5:7). I know that a lot of tehse feelings are due to my own foolishness & sin, & that may have opened some "doors" for the enemy to lob some fiery darts in my heart. But I am sothankful that my Abba Father listens to me pour out my heart to Him just like in that picture! (Ps.62:8). Bro. you have shown what the church is for by letting me get this off my heart here, & to let my Savior help me to overcome these wicked thoughts & move on in loving Him like I should & want to. He is so unbelievably good to me! He should have kicked me out on the street long ago, but because He is faithful & true, as well as gracious, He has not (Jn.6:37). Thanks again bro. for this blog & your friendship in Christ. I appreciate your prayers. God Bless.

9/17/2009 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Bro. David I totally sympathize and my heart and prayers go out to you in this. So many times I act as if my doubts and fears are somehow hidden from our Lord but He knows them long before I’m willing to admit them to Him or even to myself. ;-)

I appreciate you so much dear Brother and if ever you would like to talk please let me know.

9/18/2009 05:42:00 AM  
Blogger David Wyatt said...

Thank you so much bro. KC. I know that these blogs can only go so far in carrying on genuine Christian fellwoship, but I do believe the Lord can & does use them to a certain extent. Thanks for your honest, warm Christian fellowship. I appreciate & so need it. Yes, I'd love to take you up on your offer to talk, & I'd be just as happy to listen as to talk myself if the need is there. You are a blessing. God Bless you & yours.

9/18/2009 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Bro. David could you email me your number?

9/19/2009 10:45:00 AM  

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