I’m not sure how many of you out there might be like me, but I can relate to the idea in James about being tossed around by every wind. It’s not by doctrine for me. I doubt it’s what James had in mind, but for myself, it deals with feelings. We approach the idea of feelings differently than the ancients did. Our value system shifted from our society to ourselves sometime and now we judge things by how we feel.
I was talking about this with some friends last night. I had signed off, but then I signed back on because I thought something needed to be done. I needed to say something to someone and I wouldn’t rest until I did so, and so I signed on and after discussing with some friends, I did what I had to do.
I discussed some personal issues though that made me feel inadequate for the task. I’m one of those people that when I’m in a really good mood, I’m in a really good mood and I’m unstoppable. When I’m in a down one though, I’m lower than low. Everything that’s right will suddenly be wrong.
I was told today that we need to learn to simply experience feelings and not analyze them. It’s a good idea, but it is definitely hard in practice. Those of us with my personality type are very analytical and that analysis can just kill us. Usually when it’s self-analyzing, it’s never good.
Yet this is where our whole society seems to be going. A man will divorce his wife because he doesn’t feel love any more. A person will not hesitate to do wrong because they do not feel like it’s wrong. To quote the song that so epitomizes what is going on “It can’t be wrong when it feels so right.”
Yes. This can happen in the church also. This happens when we start giving our feelings divine authority from God. Unfortunately, Scripture has nothing in it about God revealing his will for us through our feelings. Isn’t that part of our individualized culture as well though? What is God’s will for MY life? We spend so much time asking about ourselves that we don’t ask about God.
It’s easy for us to become locked inside of ourselves today. Iron bars do not a prison make. This can happen with our feelings or with reliving the past. We can also become enchained to what other people tell us. Now we need to have encouragement from other people, but it doesn’t need to be total dependence. It needs to be interdependence.
And as you can guess, I’m just as guilty as anyone. I believe we have lost a key part of life due to the effects of secularism on our culture. We removed the image from King God and as Peter Kreeft says, replaced it with the image of King Kong. We need to get back to that. We need to get to who we are and who he is.
Then ultimately, we have to get to who we are in him. Only in him can we see who we really are and only in him can we be free.