Why You Should Be Ruled By Your Emotions


You should be ruled by your feelings. Imagine a day where you instantly responded to the world around you out of emotion. What would it look like? Would you set the roads on fire with rage or  throw a fit waiting for your morning coffee? Most of us don't look favorably towards our own feelings. They have earned a reputation for being unreliable and untrustworthy. Some of our greatest mistakes were driven by emotion instead of thought. But what if your feelings didn't lead you astray?

Dallas Willard tells us how the modern decision making process is influenced  by how we feel. He suggests that people today are faced with an unprecedented amount of decisions and fall back on the most humanistic form of decision making: our feelings.The obvious problem with emotion based decisions is that we don't always feel right. Sometimes our emotions run contrary to Christ and, "turn [our] life into a mere drift through the days and years, which addictive behavior promises to allow them to endure."

I do not think that we can or should decide without feeling. God created every part of us and use all of his creation to bring him glory. This includes your emotions. We must allow ourselves to transform self-feelings into Jesus-feelings. It is not about repression but transition. Willard says that, "The proper course of action is to replace destructive feelings with others that are good, or to subordinate them-anger and sexual desire, for example-in a way that makes them constructive and transforms their effects. The process of spiritual formation in Christ will do this by grace-effectively and intelligently received, and put into constant practice."3 This should be the hallmark of Christian experience: transformation. I hate it when people throw away feelings because they of their association with sin. We must learn how to feel as Jesus felt and we must teach others to do the same. In this way we can respond  in an instantinstead of and develop a Christian instinct of love.

Dallas Willard. Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ (Kindle Locations 1719-1720). Kindle Edition.
2 Locations 1734-1735.
Locations 1667-1669.

Brent ColbyComment