knowing > feeling

“When is the time you felt most loved?”

That was the question asked of me while grabbing breakfast with a friend years ago – pre-husbandkid years ago.

I paused and tried to think of THE moment, the time I had felt most loved.

I couldn’t.

I answered that I had always known that I was loved so couldn’t think of the time I felt most loved. Growing up, my family was an “I love you” kind of family. My parents took time to be involved in my life. Were they perfect? No. Did they frustrate me at times? Yes. Did they get upset with me ever? Absolutely. Yet even then, I knew I was loved.

In the moment of answering that question, KNOWING I was loved was more powerful than FEELING loved.

KNOWING I was loved was more powerful than FEELING loved.

And this is how it should be. What I KNOW should be more powerful than what I FEEL. Truth needs to have more power than my feelings. But, sometimes I give my feelings more power. Sometimes I don’t dwell on what I know to be true. And that causes problems – problems in my relationship with God and in my relationships with people.

I often encourage others to walk “by faith, not by sight”(2 Corinthians 5:7). But, sometimes I fail to take my own advice. Do you ever do that?

How do we walk in faith? We do it by letting ourselves be guided by truth. Jesus states that the Holy Spirit guides us in truth (John 16:13) and that God’s word is truth (John 17:17). Perhaps walking in faith can also be stated as walking in truth. In his third letter, the apostle John states, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 4).

Spending time in God’s word is key to walking by faith. By reading and meditating on scripture, I grow in what I know. I grow in my knowledge of God and His character.  And “growing my knowing” impacts how I deal with the feelings or emotions that surface in my heart. By no means am I saying that feelings don’t matter or that we should not have feelings. Feelings and emotions are part of being human; however, we need to allow God’s truth to walk us through the feelings. We need to make sure we let the truth of God’s character and His word inform our feelings rather than letting our feelings inform what we believe to be true about God and His word.

Scripture tells us that the heart is deceptive (Jeremiah 17:9) and that one who trusts his own mind/heart is a fool (Proverbs 28:26). I don’t want to be a fool, do you? Join with me in making it a priority to read and meditate on God’s word. Ask God to surround you with people who encourage you in this journey. Find a Bible teaching community that will speak gospel truth over you. Ask people to pray for you when you find yourself giving more power to the feelings in your heart. And, thank God that even if we are faithless, he remains faithful.

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