I hopped on the feels train for a little ride this morning. To put this in context God spoke to me a week or so ago about an attitude in my heart that I had to put right. That part went well until yesterday when I tried to build on what I had changed and it didn’t go as expected. This morning in my quiet time I was whining to God that it’s hard to do what I have to when it feels like people don’t like me. I’m not being harsh with myself – I was whining and it was about how I felt but I only realised it as I started to pray and God loved me.
He reminded me of a verse I’d read a few minutes earlier in Psalm 19.
The Eternal’s directions are correct,
giving satisfaction to the heart.
God’s commandments are clear,
lending clarity to the eyes.
All of that verse is (unsurprisingly) amazing but it was the second part that mattered. I was looking at this situation with my eyes, with what I could see and how I felt. I know better than that. I have to look with His eyes, I have to stand on faith not feelings as I have shared before. I don’t know what is in the other person’s heart. I don’t know what they are thinking feeling and nothing they have done has given me any real reason to believe they dislike me. The problem is – they aren’t me. I know how I act, how I behave, what the things I do, gesture, say mean. The problem is they are never going to be me – no-one else is ever going to be ‘me’ so as long as I keep looking with my eyes, from my point of view, with my prejudgements and expectations then I am going to get many rides on feels transit and the problem with riding that train is that ultimately you end up being ridden.
I need clarity, it needs to start in my heart and move up to my vision. God’s commandments give me that clarity. Love one another is pretty clear. He doesn’t say love one another when you feel like it, or when people love you, or if everything is smooth or if you feel accepted and understood. He says to love one another. That’s a full stop no conditions attached. Simple and clear.
It’s not that God doesn’t know or care about my ‘feels’ but He also knows the solution to being ridden by them. Obedience, walking faithfully. Not popular concepts in the world but vital in the Kingdom.