“Use your head and test your feelings.” Php 1:10 TM
God gave you feelings, and you should never be ashamed of them. They can alert you to danger and give you insight into various situations. God actually uses our feelings to draw us closer to Him and highlight areas in our lives that need to be submitted to His Holy Spirit. But feelings are subjective; you can’t always trust them. One counselor says: “When old feelings creep back in we feel fearful, ashamed, hopeless, not good enough, unlovable, victimized, helpless, and resentful…An event can trigger these reactions…ending a relationship, stress, problems on the job and at home, times of change or illness…and sometimes these feelings return for no reason.” So you must “test your feelings,” otherwise you’ll end up living “a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God” (Col 3:5 TM). It can be disastrous to act on what you see, hear, and feel. Instead of reacting to feelings, you must learn to act on what God’s Word says. That’s the gold standard, and it never changes! For instance, even if you feel like you can walk on water, you can only do it if God has called you to step out of the boat. Paul says, “My prayer [is] that [you]…abound…in knowledge and…insight…that you may be able to discern what is best” (Php 1:9-10 NIV). Bottom line: You’re not defined by your feelings; you’re defined by what God says about you. You may feel worthless, but God says, “You are precious to me …I love you” (Isa 43:4 NLT). You may feel like a failure, but God says, “There is…no condemnation for those…in Christ” (Ro 8:1 NIV).