Fact, Fiction, Feelings, Faith
How often do you do what you "feel"? How do you know when you act upon how you feel that you are making the right/correct decision? While the Bible does not use the word "feel" or "feelings" except when it is referring to physical touch or sensation, the Scriptures say a great deal concerning the "heart". In fact, it mentions this word or some form of it more than 800 times with most of those coming in the OT. More than 95% of the time, it is NOT referring to that muscle pump in your chest. The two words "heart" and "soul" as rendered in our English translations of Scripture is the best equivalent as to its relationship to "how we feel".
Are your feelings the best barometer of that which is real or fact, or even faith? Do you live according to your feelings? It has been my experience, that many people live their lives according to how they feel. Are your feelings objective? Is what you feel based on fact...or faith?
Let me give you a few examples:
In Exodus, Pharaoh's "heart" was hardened (7:14). This doesn't mean he suffered high cholesterol, but that he had no feelings toward the Israelites in regard to their bondage.
Leviticus 19:17 says, "You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but you shall not incur sin because of him."
Now what does that mean? When people are together, conflict is inevitable. Why? Because everyone has different feelings, opinions, etc. God states that we are not to harbor ill feelings toward someone - even if we are correcting them, so as to not sin against him or God. In other words, our feelings can not only betray us, but because they are so subjective, they are not reliable in regard to truth and they can even lead to further conflict which has no biblical basis.
Solomon explained in his Ecclesiastes that he used his heart (sometimes rendered "mind" in some versions) to explore all of life including pleasure, stimulation, and indulgences. After doing so, he commented that it was all vain.
Jesus states that the pure in heart will see God (Matthew 5:8). A person who has their feelings straight and act according to Scripture, will be able to have a clearer understanding of God and of life itself.
John records Jesus saying "Do not let your heart be troubled, you believe in God, then believe also in Me." (John 14:1) Jesus puts to rest any fear or negative feelings toward who He is. Our feelings count for little - facts and faith count for everything!
The short month of February encases Valentine's Day. It is the so-called month of love. We will explore this concept of love and feelings every Sunday here at FBC. Come and join us. I think you will be blessed and you will gain some understanding regarding your feelings.