One of the greatest enemies of our wills is our own feelings. We are increasingly living in a culture bombarded with pictures and music that can appeal directly to our senses, triggering our emotions — anger, fear, or lust — without our realizing it. How often do we think such things as “What do I feel like eating for supper?” “What do I feel like doing today?” “Do I feel good about buying this?” Feelings have thus become intimately involved in our decision-making. Feelings are not necessarily bad, but how I feel about something may have little to do with what is right or best. Indeed, our feelings can lie to us (“The heart is deceitful above all things” [Jeremiah 17:9]) and can create a false picture of reality, causing us to make bad choices, setting us up for a crucible of our own making.
What examples can you find from the Bible where people made choices based on feelings rather than on God’s Word? What were the consequences? See for example, Genesis 3:6; 2 Samuel 11:2-4; Galatians 2:11-12.
Read 1 Peter 1:13. What is Peter concerned about, and what does he want his readers actually to do?
Peter understood that the mind is the rudder for the body that we control. Take away the control of the mind, and we will be controlled by whatever feelings blow our way.
Imagine walking along a narrow path to the Shepherd’s home. Along the way there are many paths leading in different directions. Some of these paths go to places that we would not want to visit. Others look tempting; they appeal to our feelings, our emotions, our desires. If, though, we take any one of them, we get off the right path and go in a way that might be exceedingly difficult to get off.
|What important decisions are you facing? Ask yourself honestly, “How can I know if I am basing my choices on feeling, emotion, desire, as opposed to the Word of God?”|