Anonymous asked: Do you think it’s unhealthy to be all hung up on someone you’ve barely seen in a year? I’m inclined to think it is, but I also know that I have a tendency to judge myself for how I feel, and to try to feel everything the way I imagine a “good Christian” should. That may be equally unhealthy. Can you help me?
Unka Glen answered: You’re on the right track, judging yourself for your feelings is unhealthy, and in fact, as we shall see, it’s unbiblical. What we all want to do, is to learn to draw a big line between the world of our desires and emotions on one side, and the world of our thoughts and actions on the other. This may be one of the most important distinctions in managing your relationship with God.
First, lets look at the world of desires and emotions. I’m not exactly sure how you have Christian feelings or righteous emotions. I don’t think it really works that way. Controlling emotions is like trying to nail jello to the wall, it doesn’t really work, it doesn’t help, and it’s kind of silly.
Emotions have a way of constantly oozing from one thing to another, and by the time you really get ahold of how you feel about something, your emotions change to something else. it’s like herding cats. Of course emotions can be based on a lie, and of course positive emotions can arise from some kind of spiritual breakthrough. But the emotions themselves are just the by-product.
At worst emotions are a distraction that add to the confusion on our situation, at best, I dunno, they give us the occasional giddy boost. Nothing that you’d want to build a spiritual life around, in fact there’s nothing really spiritual about emotions at all.
So if we can’t really have good emotions or bad emotions, we shouldn’t judge ourselves for having any emotion of any kind. Did I just take away your favorite way of beating up on yourself? Maybe. But beating up on yourself isn’t Godly either, is it?
Paul himself said, “I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself” (1 Corinthians 4:3).
Now, by contrast, the world of thoughts and actions is a completely different story. Paul later on says, “…We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5b). The Greek word there for captive is “aichmalótizó”, it means to subdue and conquer, like taking a prisoner of war.
This is strong language to be sure, and this is obviously where our focus needs to be. Wherever our thoughts are pointed, that’s where our actions are going to end up.
So you might have a lustful desire to be with your best friend’s boyfriend, for example, but if you beat yourself up for having the occasional lustful desire, you’ll end up isolating yourself from God (making the assumption that He is as ashamed of you as you are of yourself, and how could a holy God not be?) and then what will you do to comfort yourself? Maybe you could turn to the comforting arms of your friend’s boyfriend.
Have you ever beat yourself up for wanting something, and ended up doing that same thing over and over again, almost as if all that shame not only didn’t work, but actually kind of backfired on you?
If so, by contrast, imagine that you have that desire, and you don’t judge yourself for it. Well, you’d likely think: hey I’m human, and I have normal human desires, and he is cute, and I like the way he treats my friend, and for sure one day I’d like to meet someone like that, so all that makes sense and is to be expected. No biggie.
However, you’d also end up saying: knowing that I have this feeling, no matter how reasonable and understandable, I cannot let myself act on it in any way. Now that I’ve discovered where these feelings come from, I can take all this and put it on the shelf. I don’t need to dwell on it in any way, because if I do, I could end up getting in real trouble.
You see, by not judging our feelings and emotions, it makes it much easier to face them and confront them. Once we “de-fang” those wild and funky emotions and desires, we can much easier give them up to God, and stop things from getting out of hand right there. And by putting a firm focus on controlling our thought life, we have a second line of defense that will help keep us from acting on our desires.
Don’t judge your emotions. Vent them to God, and give them up to Him. Focus instead in controlling your thought life, taking every thought captive. Shaming yourself for the desires you have hasn’t made you sinless, so why not try taking a more Biblical view of things?
- janicator likes this
- artisthumilty likes this
- cristoph reblogged this from unkaglen
- cristoph likes this
- tiedtoskies likes this
- californiaadreamingg likes this
- livingabetterstory likes this
- creatingfire reblogged this from unkaglen
- shoomonkey2 reblogged this from unkaglen
- shoomonkey2 likes this
- payadime likes this
- entrahelife reblogged this from unkaglen
- thenitstimetogo likes this
- another-anomaly likes this
- cat-chic likes this
- lostwithyou likes this
- jenniecatherine likes this
- walkingonmypath reblogged this from unkaglen
- evenso-itiswell likes this
- walkingonmypath likes this
- zippylu likes this
- doctor-remus-giles likes this
- ziyili reblogged this from unkaglen and added:
- guanjiali likes this
- mushytee likes this
- lafermeassurance likes this
- desert--soul reblogged this from unkaglen
- marey likes this
- homewhereheart reblogged this from unkaglen and added:
- ohnyet likes this
- ntrinnu2 reblogged this from unkaglen
- trishavictoriav likes this
- hannahhemingway likes this
- mamaleh6994 likes this
- paisingmyself likes this
- creatingfire likes this
- jennaychennaynay likes this
- aboveallhis reblogged this from unkaglen and added:
- hannahbanena likes this
- aaryn-grace reblogged this from unkaglen
- iwastoldbyjesusallwaswell likes this
- unkaglen posted this