Sunday, November 3, 2013

Governed By Feelings

Here is one thing I've learned:  it is a mistake to be governed by feelings.

If we base all our decisions solely on how we feel, we are setting ourselves up for disaster.

Why?  (1) Our feelings may not be based on what is true or right.  People can lie to us or manipulate the way we feel.  (2) Our feelings can change in a split second.  They are not always reliable.  (3) Our feelings can become misdirected when circumstances are not good.  When we are tired, lonely, beat down, or suffering, we may feel like doing some things that we normally would not feel like doing.

Sometimes we may feel like doing one thing, but we have to make ourselves do something else.

I may not FEEL like exercising today, but I will go walking anyway.
I may not FEEL like apologizing to someone, but I will man up and do it anyway.
I may not FEEL like listening to someone's story, but I will be kind and hear them out anyway.

It seems to me that we all would be better off if we lived by PRINCIPLES instead of feelings.  Principles are truths, guidelines, and ideals that ought to direct our lives regardless of how we may feel.  Principles are right, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

Examples of principles are:  Be loyal.  Be productive.  Be forgiving.  Be kind.  Be good.

All I know is this:  When I look back on the best decisions of my life, I ultimately followed my principles.  And when I made the worst decisions of my life, I ultimately followed my feelings.

Yes,  God wired us with feelings.  We are emotional beings.  And our feelings should be acknowledged and considered.  How we feel DOES indeed matter.  But, our feelings can not have the ultimate, final say in how we live.  Principles handed down to us from God must be the guardrails used to direct our lives.  And when we allow these principles to govern us, our lives will be much better off as a result.

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