Our Pastors have been leading us on Wednesday nights to consider Scripture as the Authority for our lives. It is becoming more difficult in our culture not to invest our feelings — especially if we are not in the Scriptures, with the final authority for life. We plod along counseling with ourselves making decisions based on how we feel about this or that outcome. I find when I counsel with myself the questions I ask are aimed at what is the easiest, most convenient, most comfortable, least demanding course to take.
Beyond that, the trouble with relying on my feelings as the anchor for my life is that they do not hold steady! They are fickle and change in a moment without good reason — or any reason! I can “feel” disciplined and self-controlled in the morning and decide that it is right to make healthy eating choices as a way to honor the temple of the Holy Spirit. That feeling can sustain me for awhile and then come the afternoon hours and my mind begins to bring me new counsel! I begin to “feel” different than I did during the morning. Now, I think it is time to reward myself and indulge my desire for junk food. That “feels right and true” because the decision is based on the change that has occurred from morning to afternoon.
The path of following feelings is like being lost on the back roads of West Virginia–you wind and wind and get nowhere. Counseling with my thoughts and feelings is disappointing because they are not unchanging absolutes as we find in Scripture. The unchanging, sufficient Word of God is authoritative! Soaking and submitting to God’s thoughts make for a straighter more direct path through life.
I was reminded of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ warning regarding making your feelings your god.
“Avoid the mistake of concentrating overmuch upon your feelings. Above all, avoid the terrible error of making them central…for you will be doomed to be unhappy. What we have in the Bible is Truth; it is not an emotional stimulus…and it is as we apprehend and submit ourselves to the truth that the feelings follow. I must never ask myself in the first instance: What do I feel about this? The first question is, Do I believe it?” ((D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Its Cure, (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1965, reprinted 2001), 20.))
May today be the day when rather than asking myself what I feel about this or that–I ask, “Lord, based on your Word–the anchor for my life, what must I believe about this?”