Quarantine Soul Care: Healthy Feelings, Properly Ordered

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This is part of an ongoing series during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. To engage further in the #QuarantineSoulCare series, click here.

Feelings are a primary blessing and a primary problem for human life. We cannot live without them and we can hardly live with them. Hence they are also central for spiritual formation in the Christian tradition. …
Feelings live on the front row of our lives like unruly children clamoring for attention. They presume on their justification in being whatever they are—unlike a thought, which by nature is open to challenge. … In feelings we really know that something is “there,” and solidly so. But what it is and why it is remains obscure—though hauntingly present. …
Feeling is essential to life. We must accept this and work with it. And you can be sure that harmful feeling, feeling associated with evil—arising from it or producing it—will eventually be taken by a human being as better than no feeling at all. Healthy feelings, properly ordered among themselves, are essential to a good life. So if we are to be formed in Christlikeness, we must take good care of our feelings. …
Full joy is our first line of defense against weakness, failure, and disease of mind and body. But even when they break through into our life, “the joy of the Lord is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10, PAR). … The task, once we have given ourselves to Christ, is to recognize the reality of our feelings and agree with the Lord to abandon those that are destructive and that lead us into doing or being what we know to be wrong. This he will then help us with. We may need to write out what those feelings are in a “letter to the Lord,” or perhaps confer about them with a wise Christian friend who knows how to listen to us and to God at the same time. … We can be very sure that this is God’s intent for us. Thus Paul prayed for his friends in Ephesus that they would be “rooted and grounded in love and “know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19). And we have seen the intent of Jesus: … “Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:27).

GOD met me more than halfway,
he freed me from my anxious fears.
Look at him; give him your warmest smile.
Never hide your feelings from him.
–Psalm 34:4-5, The Message

May today your unhealthy and disordered feelings be exchanged for the joy, peace, and love of God. #quarantinesoulcare Click To Tweet

Today’s reading was taken from Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard.

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