- Melinda K. Bowens
So, what if I...lived beyond my feelings?
I’ve mentioned before (I think) that I absolutely love children and my time as a children’s therapist was an absolute blast! They are so full of energy and truth. A lot of truth that you didn’t ask them for, but still truth. If they like you, they’ll tell you. If you’re not their friend, they’ll tell you that too. One of my favorite (I can have a favorite now) kids was particularly despondent that I was single. This seemed really sweet until he told me that should I “try the internet of something.” *Insert side eye*
Don’t judge me for side eyeing a seven-year-old. If you’re old enough to recommend eHarmony, you’re old enough for my facial expressions. But this isn’t the important part though. The important part is that kids are again, full of truth. But mostly, they are full of their personal truths, not the actual truth. Some truths are hilarious and other truths make you scratch your head and wonder how an imagination so large even formed.
Kids hold so tightly to what they think and feel, especially what they feel. Essentially, what young children feel in the moment is exactly what they believe. If they’re happy in the moment, then all of life is great. If they are upset in an instance, then everything is going wrong. If they can make it make sense, then that’s what they are deciding on at that time. How they feel dictates the minute, hour, or day (you see where I’m going with this).
Most of us can nod in agreement because we’ve had to wrangle with a three-year-old once or twice in our lives. But can we also go ahead and nod in agreement that these examples of children sound like us on quite a few days? *looks around to see if anyone is nodding*
Think about it. How often do we skip doing what we need to do because we honestly didn’t feel like it? I can think of several things in the past week that I passed on because I was “just over it.” I don’t know about you, but when I’m over something, it makes me tired in advance just thinking about it. In the past seven days I have been “over” answering emails that didn’t make sense, leaving my house to work out when it’s 42 degrees outside and cleaning my desk that seems to be a perpetual final resting place for random paperwork.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I felt justified and relieved when I walked away from my little mound of obligations. I even felt a little, dare I say, empowered to express “I’m not doing this today.” (I quietly say that a lot of days now that I think about it.) But here I am a week later with my email still overflowing like God’s grace, a couple of extra pounds from living my best foodie life not in the gym, and a desk full of papers that I hope don’t all need grading.
You can feel free to come help me out, if the Lord leads you (I’m kidding…but I’m also serious). But I tell this story about children and my struggle bus for two reasons:
When we’re led by how we feel, we’re ultimately being children. And not a child of God in the good way. Nah, we’re being “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” childish.
Once we’re done living by our emotions, we still face our previously standing commitments that must be upheld. Because we may be done with people, places and things, but Christ isn’t.
If we’re going to live a life not led by emotions, we must remember (and believe) that responsibility outweighs emotion.
We must remember (and believe) that responsibility outweighs emotion.
*Author’s note: This post is in reference to our fickle everyday emotions, not instances of medical illness, mental illness, etc…
Question of the day?
What would life look like if you lived beyond your feelings?
When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child; now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways.
1 Corinthians 13:11 GNT
A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest-- then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
Proverbs 24:33-34 NLT
A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.
Proverbs 25:28 NLT
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