Our God has given us the ability to feel a broad spectrum of feelings. This is keenly revealed when you read the Psalms. We read there about joy, sadness, anger, fear, anxiety, depression, regret, love, peace, elation, etc. What we discover is encouraging. God does not rebuke us for our feelings. Yet, they typically reveal our mental focus, i.e., what we are thinking about.
You may feel happy when you read, hear, or view politics that agree with your perspective or angry when they don’t. On the other hand, when you think about your health problem, you may feel discouraged or encouraged. Finally, focusing on difficult life circumstances may make you feel fearful or excited. All of these are examples of how feelings follow our mental focus.
Our God, who made and saved us, knows this about us, which is why He wants to help us so that our feelings don’t control our lives. Otherwise, we will fall into the trap of believing that our feelings determine what is true. Unfortunately, this is not only rampant in culture today. It is a battle every one of us in Christ faces consistently.
Here are some of the choices He wants us to make each day.
Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:2-3). To set our minds on things above means to remember that we have died with Christ and are facing this IN Christ, not alone. Romans 8:6 The flesh is all the ways we have learned to promote or protect ourselves apart from dependence on Christ. That can lead to unsettling feelings.
To set our minds on the Spirit means to choose to rely on the sufficiency of Christ’s love and life in us, along with His astounding opinion of us.
God, not us, determines truth, and His truth encourages and exhorts us to be who we genuinely are in Christ. So, the next time you feel unsettling feelings, ask yourself and Him, “What am I thinking about?” Then adjust your thinking with His truth, or talk with someone who can help you do that. That is what we help individuals, and couples do every week in our counseling and coaching. So reach out if you need help. We are here for you.
© Mark Maulding (But feel free to share this.)