When I talk with Christians, one of the things I hear most often is, “Look, I know I’m wrong to feel like this, but…”
I bet you can relate. Maybe you feel jealous of somebody. Maybe you feel mad about something. Or maybe you feel like God isn’t really coming through for you. It makes sense that we’d look at those kind of feelings and say, “Well, that’s not good!”
But here’s the surprising thing: you aren’t wrong to feel like that. Whatever it is – jealous, mad, lonely, whatever – you aren’t wrong to feel that way.
The reason why is simple. Feelings are neither good or bad. They’re just feelings. We all have them, and they come into our hearts and minds whether we want them there or not.
It’s what you do with your feelings that matters. And I’d like to suggest a step one that will always be the right answer, the safe answer, and the best answer.
Go tell God how you feel.
Now, I bet that sounds right. Sure. But, how many of us have things in our life where we’d never dream of simply telling God, “Here’s how I feel”?
Let’s look at some examples.
“God, I feel riled-up, and I really want to look at porn right now.”
“God, I feel really mad at my parents, and I think they’re jerks, and I want to go get even with them.”
“God, I feel so mad at you. This awful thing is going on in my life, and you could stop it, and it feels like you just don’t want to.”
Whoa. Now, that feels a little crazy. Maybe too far. Can’t be right. But before we dismiss it, let’s turn to the Bible, and remind ourselves of what old King David said to God:
“God, why have you deserted me? Why do you seem to be so far away when I need you to save me? Why do you seem to be so far away that you can’t hear my groans? God, I cry out…but you don’t answer.” (Psalm 22:1-2, NIRV)
Dang – now, to me, that feels almost scandalous! Dude is saying, “God it feels like you’ve just straight up sold me out!” Surely God can’t be cool with that!
But then we remember that the Bible describes David as “a man after God’s own heart.” And we remember that Jesus – who was perfect – quoted that exact passage of Scripture right before he died.
As it turns out, this kind of honesty is exactly what God is looking for. In fact, God makes an offer of how he’ll respond to our courageous honesty:
“Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders—he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out.” (Psalm 55:22, MSG)
Wow. God is saying: be real with me. Tell me how you feel. Tell me what’s really going on in your heart and mind. And, when you do, you’ll discover that I’m giving you the strength that you need right in that moment.
It’s ok to feel how you feel. Just go tell God about it. And let Him give you what you need to keep on walking with Him. Cause He loves you like that.