What is the foundation upon which you live your life? Does your mind rule your emotions or do your emotions rule your mind? Do your daily decisions flow from how you feel, or do they flow from a posture of your heart that is properly aligned with who God says you are and what He wants for and from you?
If you and I were to spend any meaningful time together, you would know my faith guides and drives me. It demands with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind and with all my strength that my love for God and love for other people are at the forefront. This is my #1 personal value to strive toward. It means every second of every minute of every day is spent working for that end. Even though I often fall short, that’s my goal.
Some days are harder than others. Why? Because it seems like I’m swimming against the cultural current. Dominant culture suggests feelings should chart our course. A new religion has been formed centered around us, ourselves and our feelings. That religion is very attractive because it caters to our emotions and egos. It wants to give us full reign to our natural expressions, our authentic selves, to be who we are without constraints or consideration that we are born of God.
Such raw passion, as evidenced as of late, is never so useful as in groups. It turns herds into stampedes used for destruction. When feelings, not thoughts – when our spirits, not His – drives us, mobs soon become monstrous.
Here are some carefully crafted half-truths this new religion uses to stir and incite:
- Feelings define us. Who we are is how we feel, not what we believe or who we belong to.
- Emotions happen. Emotions are what happens to us and we cannot actually fight them or train them.
- Emotions interpret reality. Emotions are the lens through which reality is seen, never vise versa. Therefore, reality is relative to our emotional state.
- Love is a label. Love is the crown jewel of all feelings and a label to be stamped on what was once highly objectionable.
Living as a contrarian is not easy. Fighting conformity to the pattern of this world feels like running the back half of a marathon in the heat of summer. Nonetheless, I am committed to keep running. I am committed to training my mind to receive my God-given gifts and hopefully influence others to do likewise. It’s all very possible when we intentionally love God first, others second and ourselves third. The order is of the utmost importance, which is why our minds must rule our emotions.