Over the years I have come to realize just how often I have let my feelings get in the way of God working in my life.
Because after all, our feelings are a very real, very strong force in our lives.
Feelings can cause us to be greedy, to love, to hate, to be envious, to respect, to disrespect, to worry, to cry, to be lonely, to be happy, to be compassionate, to be excited, to be nervous, to be fearful, and so on.
Basically our feelings play into and effect every circumstance in our lives and in our world.
Now I gotta tell you that there are a lot of days where my feelings have gotten me into trouble.
Because there are days when I don't feel very loving. Days when I don't feel very happy. Days when I feel hurt, troubled, angry, jealous impatient or bitter.
Yet none of this surprises God.
You see God allows us to have those feelings. He understands we are humans- because He created us that way.
So, there is nothing wrong with feelings. They are simply that- your feelings- at that moment..
Where the problem sometimes arises though- is how we choose to act on our feelings.
It's what we choose to do with our feelings that makes all the difference.
What God wants -is for us to simply choose Him. Choose Him when we are angry, choose Him when we are sad, choose Him when we are happy, choose Him when we feel resentful or bitterness.
When we are hurt by a friend- we can choose Jesus and love them -even when we don't feel like it.
When we are frustrated with our spouse- we can choose Jesus and forgive -even though we don't feel like it.
When we are angry at our disobedient child- we can choose Jesus and teach them in love -even when we don't feel like it.
When we are jealous of our neighbor- we can choose Jesus and celebrate their blessings- even when we don't feel like it.
When our mother-in-law makes the same rude comment over and over again- we can choose Jesus and extend grace- even when we don't feel like it.
When we are raising funds for our adoption and we are embarrassed to ask for help- we can choose Jesus and ask boldly- even when we don't feel like it.
When a coworker continues to make the same mistake over and over-we can choose Jesus and love them where they are -even though we don't feel like it.
When the offering plate is passed around at church and we would rather go out to lunch than drop money in- we can choose Jesus and give- even if we don't feel like it.
I cannot tell you how many times people have said to me "God must have given you patience with all those children you have."
No, God didn't CHOOSE ME to give patience's to- I chose Him.
Because the truth is- some days I don't feel like parenting 9 kids and trying to meet all of their needs.
Some days I don't feel like doing laundry for 11 or cooking for 11.
Some days I don't feel like waking up in the middle of the night with a crying baby.
Some days I don't feel like cleaning sticky fingerprints off the walls, windows or table- again.
Some days I don't feel like teaching math, or sitting in the cold at a football game or picking someone up from student council after school.
Some days I don't feel like disciplining the same child for the same thing yet again.
Some days what I feel like doing is laying on the beach, getting my hair and nails done, shopping till I drop, sleeping in, going out to eat and being waited on.
Feelings are strong, feelings are real, feelings can control our every thought and every action if we let them. So much so, that I often I think sometimes we get confused and believe that our feelings give us some sort of permission to act accordingly.
But the truth is-our feelings- whether justified or not- do not give us permission to act unkind or unloving. Our feelings change from time to time. And, sometimes are feelings are wrong- simply because we don't have all the details, don't understand the history, don't necessarily see things clearly, or have believed the lies of the world.
When we claimed the title "Christian"- we claimed Him. Chose Him. Chose His ways. The word 'Christians' means "Christ like". It means ACTING like little Christs. Not only when we feel like it-not only when things go the way we want them to- but every. single. day. of. our. lives.
Lord, even when we don't feel like it- help us to love the way you love, forgive the way you forgive, give the way you give and act the way you act and see things the way you see them.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God- what is good and acceptable and perfect. -Romans 12:2