I love that God made women to be emotional beings. We feel sentiments, we sense problems, we discern issues. Sometimes we are spot on. Sometimes that intuition and sense of sadness, trouble or even excitement were all correct and we nod our heads, thankful that we followed through to care for ourselves or the other people involved.
However, because we are far from perfect, we don’t always get it right. Let’s face it, sometimes we can be totally off. On those occasions, we can also track our incorrect feelings to our incorrect responses. Been there? Me too! We are not alone, though.
When we open to the first Book of the Bible and see Eve in the garden, we are met immediately with a woman who missed it. When Satan showed her the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, the Scripture says,
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
She was looking at this whole situation and feeling that God had not been fair. He had withheld something that was good. Next we see that her wrong thinking/feelings, led her to act out her incorrect discernment when she took of the fruit and gave some to her husband, Adam.
There are several ways we can avoid jumping to conclusions as Eve did.
- Don’t go solely by your emotions. “I feel like…” Yes, sometimes we get it right, but emotions aren’t called “roller coasters” for nothing! If we go by what we “feel,” we’re very possibly going to end up with more than a crick in our neck. Like Eve, we will injure others in the process. Not going on our emotions is absolutely essential – especially when we are feeling things about God that are unlike His character!
Elizabeth Elliot said, If you dwell on your own feelings about things rather than dwelling on the faithfulness, the love, and the mercy of God, then you’re likely to have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Our feelings are very fleeting and ephemeral, aren’t they? We can’t depend on them for five minutes at a time. But dwelling on the love, faithfulness, and mercy of God is always safe.
- Seek out the truth. If your feelings are pushing you to do something, find out the truth before you do anything. If Eve would have gone to the Source (God Himself), she would have been spared the awful consequences that followed. Ask loving (not accusatory) questions. You might say something like, “I’m feeling like this is happening. Am I correct or am I in error?”
- Believe the truth. It’s easy to ask someone that question, but we can be so convinced we’re right about what we’re “discerning” that if they refute what we’re feeling, we refuse the truth when they state it. Perhaps it’s out of a desire to be right. Or perhaps we’re so sure of our feelings that we think we need to inform the other person.
The truth of this situation is found in Genesis 2:17
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Eve needed to believe that God was so good to her and Adam. He had kept the evil from them! She found that out very quickly, didn’t she? You and I will often invite hardship, too, when we keep pressing into our emotions. What do we do then if we’re told that our feelings are inaccurate? We make a choice. We go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to help us replace our feelings with right thinking. Philippians 4:8 Every time the emotion rushes in, we choose truth instead. It’s like choosing to eat something sweet and delicious, or picking up something disgusting from the sidewalk and popping it into our mouth and chewing on it. It’s our choice to choose.
Next week I’ll continue this post and I’ll be sharing the result of choosing right thinking over our emotions. For today, ask yourself:
- Am I going solely on my emotions about the issue bothering me?
- Am I willing to seek out truth?
- Will I believe the truth when I hear it?
The roller coaster of emotions make for dizzy days. Guard your heart by seeking out the truth.