Don’t Trust Emotions

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).

To the postmodernist, personal experience is supreme.

“It doesn’t matter what the Bible says,” our children are being told via the media and our education system, “do whatever feels right and follow your heart.” The problem with following your heart is that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…” (Jeremiah 17:9). God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). In fact, God’s will is usually the very opposite of our natural inclination (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Emotions are a wonderful part of the way that God has made us; but emotions cannot be relied upon in the decision making process. Emotions and feelings can be wrong, and they can be so powerful that we often end up following them. One day you can be on the mountain of happiness; the next in the valley of despair.

What happens if you make decisions based on how you feel? Some weeks you’ll feel like coming to church, other weeks you won’t. There’ll be times you’ll feel good about your marriage and there’ll be times you won’t. On occasions you’ll feel like serving others but most of the time you won’t. There will be some people that you will find it possible to forgive, but there are others that you won’t.

That’s why our decisions need to be squarely based on Biblical truth and not on the roller coaster ride of changing emotions. That means you love your spouse even when you don’t feel like it. You go to church when you don’t feel like going. You need to serve others rather than waiting on others to serve you. And you forgive even when you don’t feel like forgiving. We need to think Biblically and do what is right regardless of how we feel.

The word “emotion” is not found anywhere in the Bible but the word “feeling” is. The first time the word “feel/feeling” is used is in Genesis 27:21 – “And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not” – and with that feeling Jacob was deceived. Emotions and feelings can easily deceive us. That’s why our decisions need to be based on the absolute, unchanging truth of God’s Word.

Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Making decisions apart from the Word of God is like making a decision in the dark. And making decisions in the dark can lead to some regrettable consequences.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries