In the Four spiritual laws track of Campus Crusade, there’s a part there where it discusses the role that feelings play, at least, in being saved. How important gauges are our feelings? When we accept Jesus Christ and are saved, there may or may not be an emotional experience. Some would feel an instant peace while others won’t feel like anything has changed. Very aptly then is that page entitled, “Do not depend on feelings.” The reason? Because “the promise of God’s word, the Bible –not our feelings –is our authority.”
Feelings and moods change. One moment, I may feel happy and excited about my future. The next, anxious and scared. The moment I rely on my feelings, I know I am already taking things wrongly. That is not to discount the fact that feelings are important, too. But they should never be the determining factor of many important things, such as our eternal assurance.
Then, there’s “falling in love.”
The advice the world gives us is, “Follow your heart.” I would, except that the Bible also says that none is more deceptive than our hearts. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9 asks.
A while ago, I was with a girlfriend over a very late dinner and we were talking about her recent heartache. She had just come from a painful breakup. As she was telling me her story, I couldn’t help but see in her how I used to be –very emotional, very dependent on my feelings. At that time that I was contemplating on dating this one guy, who later would be a former flame, I knew very well what I was getting myself into. I had known from previous encounters with that guy that he wasn’t “who I had in mind”, as my journals attest. Not only was he lacking the standards I’ve so strictly set (a discipling Christian, has no trust issues, protects purity), he was also just very new in the faith; he was emotionally not ready. He was younger than me, after all. He was testing the waters with me, trying to see if I would take the bait, and while I had very many opposing arguments one after the other in my mind, and had very well built a good foundation on the kind of relationship that I wanted, eventually, my feelings betrayed me.
“He didn’t win me over. I just…freely gave myself because I was already emotionally invested.” I told her. Three years ago I wouldn’t have been able to say this openly, but the truth was, I really let my feelings dictate my decisions. No one can tell me I didn’t know any better; I did. I just didn’t do what I knew was right, and just went for what felt right. Now, I’m able to discern.
We women should learn to be more discerning and less dependent on how we “feel” about certain things, certain people, yes, certain men. I try not to let my emotions get the better of me now. The moment I am able to articulate to myself some of the red signs I see in guys, I quickly withdraw. It might not always be a good thing, but at least it has kept my heart protected.
When a guy is giving us too much attention, before we react and go on all these monologues, let’s sit quietly and think things through with God. If there is a counselor we should first go to, it’s God. If it’s already causing us confusion —that’s the time we need to confront it objectively and not be given to our emotions. Even in deciding to be a relationship, it shouldn’t just be because we “feel” it’s right. You leave that gut feeling to your everyday Starbucks decisions (I feel like I want to have Mocha frap today!), but never for your precious heart.
Don’t go with what feels right; go with what IS right.