There is a lot being said these days in respect to courage. Bruce Jennder, or, I guess it’s now officially, Caitlyn, is being praised and promoted by many media and special agenda groups as being courageous. But is this really what courage is? When did courage become a matter of constructing oneself to the feelings he/she might be having in a given moment, or even over a longer period of months or years?
Feelings certainly play an important role in our lives, for they give us insight into where we currently are physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually; but when feelings are allowed to take control, and become the driving force in our lives, the result is usually something closer to cowardness or craziness, certainly not courage.
Whenever someone says: “I feel _________” (fill in the blank).
The next question that should be asked is “Why?”
“Why do I feel this way right now?”
“Why do I feel ______ (fill in the blank) about this or that?”
“Why do I feel ______ (fill in the blank) about him or her?”
“Why do I feel______ (fill in the blank) about myself?”
Generally speaking, our thoughts produce our feelings which result in our behaviors. Our feelings are always legitimate, because they are what they are for whatever reason, and we certainly have the right to feel what we feel when we feel it.
Our feelings are neither right nor wrong, but the critical issue is what we do with the feelings we feel? It is important to be aware of them, to explore them, and to understand them; yet to go ahead and act on our feelings can be downright crazy, since this can cause all kinds of problems for us. Plus, our feelings are constantly changing.
Feelings come and feelings go. And our feelings are determined by so many factors like: who we are, what we are thinking about, where we are at, who we are with, what we are doing, what we want, what we need, etc…
Also, our feelings often work through our senses as the things we are seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting can all have an influence on what we feel.
Problems arise when people fixate on their feelings and allow them to control their thoughts and behaviors, without first questioning the feelings in a logical, reasonable, common sense approach. For unchecked feelings can give a person an inaccurate assessment of a situation. Here’s how this can work in some people:
When a person’s true or perceived emotional/relational needs are not being met in an adequate way by the significant people in his/her life, it can generate feelings of insecurity and inferiority, which then may lead the person into thinking he/she is unappreciated, unrecognized, unloved, and unwanted (and feeling these things too). So instead of questioning the feelings and communicating them to others (which would be the courageous thing to do), the person caves in to the feelings out of cowardness and often does something totally crazy.
Where can one turn when there is conflict and confusion between our thoughts and feelings? Where can we find a point of reference – a true north, an accurate measure, a proper gage?
The Word of GOD, The Bible. This timeless, best-selling book contains the standard operating procedures for human life, including all the basic instructions for making sense of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
There’s nothing like the written Word of GOD for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is GOD-breathed and useful one way or another – showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live GOD’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks GOD has for us. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 (The Message)