Remember that over-played song from the ‘70s? I’m dating myself, I know, but I hope some of you are doing the same (insert smile here). I hope I don’t offend anyone when I say this song is goofy. If it was your wedding song, please forgive me. I heard it the other day and started thinking about that word “feelings”.
Webster’s defines “feeling”, among several definitions, as:
- an emotional state or reaction
- often unreasoned opinion or belief
It adds these synonyms for the word: suspicion, notion, inkling, hunch, idea.
Webster’s understanding of feelings is defined by the study of the human heart and mind, which have all arrows pointing inward, and end up being self-serving.
The word “feeling” can be found in two places in Scripture:
We see it in the letter to the Ephesians, chapter 4, verses 17-19, as Paul writes to the saints there, admonishing them to:
…no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (NKJV)
Conversely, the next time we see the word “feelings” is in the book of Hebrews, chapter 4, verse 15:
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (KJ21)
The two times this word “feeling(s)” is used, it describes either someone who couldn’t care less about God, or Someone who couldn’t care more about us.
(SIDE NOTE: To “care” is to give attention and provision to someone else for their benefit. Sympathy and compassion reflect the heart and mind of God in the man, Jesus, our High Priest.)
So, the word “feeling(s)” is found only twice in Scripture. Some thoughts:
- How many times is it found in our vocabulary?
- How many times do we use this word “feeling” to describe what our needs are as opposed to meeting others’ needs?
- How many times do we begin a sentence with “I feel…”, “I’m feeling…”, “My feelings…”
- Are all our arrows pointing in?
- Do we use the word in a biblical way, based in truth rather than emotion?
- What “feeling” is controlling my thinking today?
Feeling loved by Jesus today,
Carol Tirondola is on staff with the Partner Care team at America’s Keswick. She and her best friend, Mario, have been married for 35 years. They have 2 sons and 2 daughters-in-law that they call their “BFFs.” They also have 7 precious gems called grandchildren. Her family has savored many memories of the heart made at Keswick over the last 35+ years and she is thrilled to serve on staff!