Feels

I was talking to my younger brother the other day and he said, “Man, that hit me right in the feels!” I realized I must be getting old because I had no idea what he was talking about. I guess it’s the new hip way to say that it made you emotional, or that it hit you in the heart. I honestly thought that it was a stupid saying. The more I thought about it though the more accurate I found it. There are times we have feelings that we can’t even describe at first. We look around at what’s happening in the world and it hits us right in the feels. Anger, frustration, heart-broken, sadness, depression, hopeless…I could go on. This world is falling apart around us and at times it appears like no one cares. We see the atrocities around us and question how can someone sink to that level. 

In Sunday school the other morning they read a verse I know I’ve read a million times but this time it reached up from the page and slapped me across the face.  

“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility (devoid of truth) 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.” Ephesians 4:17-19 

How? Removing truth from your thoughts, understanding or judgement gets darkened, leaving fellowship with God due to embracing ignorance, and finally being past feeling…. ceasing to feel pain or grief, becoming callous. When you look at where society is this is exactly the path we’ve gone down. It started with “there’s no absolute truth; everyone gets to decide their own ‘truth’”. When you remove truth from the equation 2+2 no longer equals 4 and we are left with uncertainty. Left to our own devices we stumble around in the dark looking for anything to cling to. Distancing ourselves from God who is Truth. We find ourselves clinging to someone thinking that they can guide us not realizing they are as blind as we are, but they tell us what we want to hear. They agree with our “truths” and tell us we aren’t blind, and this is light and not darkness.  We heedlessly walk further and further into the darkness until we convince ourselves that this is all there is. We can’t see any future so why not live for the moment. Whatever makes me happy. If there’s no truth there’s no God, no consequences, no after life…deeper and deeper into the darkness we sink. With each passing day we add callouses to our hearts and eventually we are left numb. No grief over actions, no pain over our depravity. Past feeling. 

I guess hitting you in the feels isn’t such a new concept. Living with chronic pain I’ve often wanted to be past feeling. Dealing with depression and anxiety I’ve tried to set aside all feels. After reading this verse I realized that feelings have a bigger part to play than I’ve realized. God uses them to help guide and direct. When we hit a brick wall with our fist and break our hand, the pain teaches us not to do that again. That brick wall is absolute truth. If I go to the doctor and tell him that my truth is that brick wall is really a pillow and hitting it didn’t cause my hand to break, that it just randomly broke, I would be locked up in a looney bin. If I continue to hit the brick wall, I’ll eventually do enough nerve damage that the pain won’t be as severe, my hand will be severely crippled and useless though. This is just as true for our spiritual, emotional, and mental health as our physical, but we are much quicker to ignore that pain than physical.  

The remedy? Clinging to the Truth. When I accept that the brick wall is not a pillow, I can begin to act accordingly. When I accept the rules that are placed in Scripture are true and for my good, not to harm me but to protect me, I can begin to live accordingly. The more I embrace Truth, the clearer things become. Darkness can not exist in Light. Confusion can not live with certainty.  

I can’t fix society. But I refuse to add to the chaos and confusion. I will speak Truth in Love. I will live as best as I can in the Light and not call darkness good. There is peace, hope, comfort, love, in Truth.  

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