We’re called to walk by faith and not by sight. I think you could also say we are to walk by faith and not by feelings. I heard it put like this. Faith is the engine and feelings are the caboose. No matter how things may look or feel I assure you the real power is in the engine of faith even when if it doesn’t feel like it.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to our feelings. One is the stoic. Stoicism says, “Man conquers the world by conquering himself. Start by developing an indifference to pain and pleasure, through meditation. Wisdom occurs when reason controls passions; Evil occurs when passions control us.” I guess you could say Stoicism tells us to say no to our feelings completely by conquering them. You know them; those people who never seem to crack a smile or even have an expression on their face at all.
The flip-side to Stoicism is Hedonism. “Hedonism is very simple: Whatever we do, we do to gain pleasure or to avoid pain. Pleasure is the only good, and the achievement of pleasure the only virtue. Morality is only a matter of culture and customs and laws, something we now call ethical relativism. Further, science, art, civilization in general, are good only to the extent that they are useful in producing pleasure.” These folks are the party animals that live for the rush. You know the type. They say, “If it feels good do it!” I guess you could say these are the ones that are letting the caboose drive the engine. Faith has very little to do with this viewpoint because feeling pleasure is the goal.
There is yet one more option in how we view our faith and feelings. God’s viewpoint recognizes our feelings but gives us the ability to push on through. We don’t have to suppress them, but we don’t have to be enslaved by them either. You see God’s plan involves his Spirit taking up residence within us and leading us from within. Our feelings have to learn how to take orders from the Spirit of God and be the caboose he designed them to be.
Italicized quotes-Dr. C. George Boeree
Written by Louie