I’m a woman. Feelings have always seemed to rule my life! Being a woman is like being on a rollercoaster all the time (probably one reason I refuse to go on rollercoasters!) I am volatile, emotional, tearful, temperamental and often downright irrational.
When I was first dating my husband, he was bewildered by my mood swings. Garry is the most level-headed, rational, calm and stable person I have ever met and it must have been totally confusing to him to have to deal with someone who was so unpredictable. I’m grateful that he persevered with me, but it can’t have been easy!
Feelings can be great in all kinds of ways, but they’re not really a reliable barometer of faith. On the days when I feel God’s presence and the sun’s shining down on me, all’s well with the world and I can be a great Christian. But on the days when I’m ‘moody, sad and very grumpy’ (to paraphrase a song, this particular version by Rocky Kids!), God can seem fickle, unfair, unkind and downright absent.
I’ve come to see that
“I can’t live by what I feel
But by the truth Your word reveals.” (‘East to West’, Casting Crowns)
‘East to West’, Casting Crowns
One of the most important things I’ve learnt in thirty years of being a Christian is to walk by faith and not by sight and to trust what God says more than what I feel. As Nicky Gumbel says ‘Let your dreams be bigger than your fears, your actions louder than your words, and your faith stronger than your feelings.’ Feelings aren’t the plumbline for what’s right and true in the world. Paul says ‘Let God be true, and every human being a liar’ (Rom 3:4 TNIV). My feelings change so much that they can’t possibly be the truth I live by. Instead, I have to choose to listen to the Voice of Truth and accept God’s assessments of situations rather than believing my feelings all the time.
’ Voice of Truth’, Casting Crowns