Counting Our Feelings

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AidaC
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Counting Our Feelings

Post by AidaC »

"Your heart and your feelings go hand in hand." - Darin

"Your heart is very much in tune with your feelings." - Darin

"Getting to know yourself and having your feelings become one with you." - Darin


Those quotes are taken from the "Counting Your Feelings" podcast. What a great conversation! I can relate to what was said because at one time, I went to a church where the pastor constantly told us that he wanted to kill our feelings. How sickening that is!

Feelings are important because they've been given to us by God as part of our internal guidance system. We talk a lot about listening to our heart and I believe that's also important but that doesn't mean we need to throw out our feelings. They are an important barometer to let us know what is in our heart and, without them, we're left without a clear navigation system.

I personally believe that our heart and our feelings are two different things. However, as Darin said, our heart and our feelings are meant to go hand in hand and we CAN know the source of those feelings. Do they come from the heart or are they narcissistic? Because of what we've been taught, we might believe that we can't tell the difference but, we CAN! As we learn to more clearly recognize the voice of our heart, we will be able to more discern the difference.

It is a journey of growth and understanding and it's well worth the effort of learning how to navigate this journey by listening to our feelings.

http://freebelievers.com/podcast-info/c ... r-feelings
"Smell the aroma of your union with Christ" - Andrew Farley
eagle77
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Re: Counting Our Feelings

Post by eagle77 »

Aida, I also believe that our heart and feelings are two different things. In my heart, I've always sensed something was wrong with the IC. But I allowed my feelings of loyalty to my family, and to my church organization and it's leaders to take precedence. Fear was really the basis for my feelings and was symptomatic of what I knew in my heart. Believers have been taught by church leaders not listen to their feelings or their hearts, but to listen to them only. They have coined themselves as the voices of the Holy Spirit, even if what they speak contradicts the bible - which is usually the case.

Most believers don't think for themselves and are too lazy to cultivate a relationship with God on their own, independent of other people or things. Take church leaders who tell their followers they should dress up to go to "church." In my heart, I've always thought why would God care how a person dress - it's people that value "a well dressed man or woman." God is just not that shallow. My feelings were based on fear once again - I was afraid of what others thought of me, and I feared being irreverent to God. But another reason far more sinister was that I wanted people to see me dressed up for church and to view me as a good Christian. I chose not to address those feelings, and ignored what was in my heart.

Church leaders are great at making believers feel good about themselves. Participating in various programs, dressing up, attending their church - all that kind of stuff creates a false sense of spiritual maturity. The sense of feeling spiritual about oneself is a very alluring thing. The pastor that said he wanted to kill the congregation's feelings, really in essence was saying he did not want his followers to think for themselves. He devalued their feelings and wanted to foster a sense of dependency on whatever he said - it was his way of controlling his followers. It would be dangerous to have believers think for themselves which is the power behind the IC. Church leaders tell us what to believe and how to feel - they are more than happy to do the thinking for us. So much false guilt is heaped on believers, that most won't even allow themselves to listen to their heart or their feelings.
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teresap
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Re: Counting Our Feelings

Post by teresap »

Participating in various programs, dressing up, attending their church - all that kind of stuff creates a false sense of spiritual maturity. The sense of feeling spiritual about oneself is a very alluring thing.
I know I've certainly done this . . .

I think at the heart of everything is an insecurity about how God feels about us, we feel insecure and need something to reassure us and tell us we are on the right path. This, I believe, is also at the root of why we get so worried about making a mistake about worrying that our feelings are going to lead us astray.
What if it didn't matter, what if God is so loving and great that he can cope with any feeling we might have, any"mistake" we think we make,any part of our "old nature" that might seem to overwhelm us? I believe this is the case and I would really encourage you, as I encourage myself, to cut the shackles which bind us to a judgmental God and just let ourselves relax, without expectations of ourselves and without judging ourselves.
Salvation is Gods idea knowing fully well what we are like and what we are capable of and everything you or I can do or think of has been covered by Him.
For me it's like casting off on a boat from the shore, I have to trust that the boat is going to stay afloat and the further I get from the shore the more completely has to be my trust. So what exactly am I trusting in? Simply that God's love for me is greater than myself.

I hope 2016 is a year of accepting who we are without any fear and knowing that we are completely safe in Gods love.

Love Teresa x
If you ask God a question be prepared for him to lead you (very gently) outside of your comfort zone.
eagle77
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Re: Counting Our Feelings

Post by eagle77 »

teresap wrote:I think at the heart of everything is an insecurity about how God feels about us, we feel insecure and need something to reassure us and tell us we are on the right path. This, I believe, is also at the root of why we get so worried about making a mistake about worrying that our feelings are going to lead us astray.
I very much agree with what you are saying here Teresa. I've been taught so much by church leaders what I must do to please God - which usually means supporting a church organization and following whatever a pastor/priest says. I still am carrying a lot baggage, and living here in the Bible Belt does not make it any easier. I am constantly receiving innuendos from family and friends that I'm not being a good Christian and must not really love God. Most of what they believe and say is based on their actions - and the things they have been taught. And that lends itself to the insecurity of which you spoke off. And I once followed what I have been taught myself - so I do know they truly believe they must do these things in order to please God. I know what you are saying is true, but it is at times overwhelming for me.
teresap wrote: I hope 2016 is a year of accepting who we are without any fear and knowing that we are completely safe in Gods love.
I hope it will be too. Time to time I wonder if I'm doing enough for God, but I'm determined to keep striving to reach some sort of peace and maturity in my relationship with God.
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teresap
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Re: Counting Our Feelings

Post by teresap »

Hi eagle77,
What a really tough situation for you, I just wanted to send you a virtual hug.
If it helps at all, I've stopped expecting myself to love God. What I try to do is to concentrate on how much God loves me and I'm pretty sure that my love for Him will grow out if that.
Love Teresa X
If you ask God a question be prepared for him to lead you (very gently) outside of your comfort zone.
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AidaC
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Re: Counting Our Feelings

Post by AidaC »

teresap wrote: If it helps at all, I've stopped expecting myself to love God. What I try to do is to concentrate on how much God loves me and I'm pretty sure that my love for Him will grow out if that.
Teresa, what a great way to look at it. I think we complicate things too much. It's not about what we can do but it's about what He's done and what He continues to do.
"Smell the aroma of your union with Christ" - Andrew Farley
eagle77
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Re: Counting Our Feelings

Post by eagle77 »

:D Thanks Teresa for the virtual hug - I needed that!
AidaC wrote:Teresa, what a great way to look at it. I think we complicate things too much. It's not about what we can do but it's about what He's done and what He continues to do.
I know that's true Aida. I get so caught up with this battle, that I often forget how much He has already done for us. I appreciate what you and Teresa have said here! :)
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AidaC
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Re: Counting Our Feelings

Post by AidaC »

eagle77 wrote: Most believers don't think for themselves and are too lazy to cultivate a relationship with God on their own, independent of other people or things. Take church leaders who tell their followers they should dress up to go to "church." In my heart, I've always thought why would God care how a person dress - it's people that value "a well dressed man or woman." God is just not that shallow. My feelings were based on fear once again - I was afraid of what others thought of me, and I feared being irreverent to God. But another reason far more sinister was that I wanted people to see me dressed up for church and to view me as a good Christian. I chose not to address those feelings, and ignored what was in my heart.
I think when we understand the history behind how our traditions became law, it helps on our journey to freedom. For instance, the dressing up to go to church rule that you mentioned was not practiced by the early church. From what I've read, church meetings were basically informal gatherings and people just came dressed in normal every day clothes. It wasn't until Constantine institutionalized the church that people began to get dressed up for their meetings and the reason wasn't to "honor God." People got dressed up to honor the emperor. If he showed up at the meetings, they wanted to look their best. It had absolutely nothing to do with God.

Most of our traditions are just that . . . traditions. They have absolutely nothing to do with our relationship with God. While I have no problem with traditions and I think some of them are good, we need to keep them in their proper perspective. God doesn't care how we dress when we gather with other believers, He cares about US and there's a huge difference between the two.
"Smell the aroma of your union with Christ" - Andrew Farley
Jac
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Re: Counting Our Feelings

Post by Jac »

I really appreciate all that you folks have said on this topic. In the early seventies I had an older brother who was way ahead of his time. He thought deeply (and had a unique sense of humour too). Within a short time of "becoming a Christian" in his late teens he had read the whole bible. He used to turn up to an Open Brethren church in cut-off jeans and a tshirt and rubber thongs because he wanted to invite friends along and for them to come as they were and feel comfortable. (Once when coerced to wear a tie he wore it around his arm!) He was not being rebellious but trying to be real and true to what he believed. He always asked awkward questions. Of course it did not go down well. The gossip line started and he hated that. He went to another city for counselling from a trusted Christian and as he left he said "now I know what I have to do". On the way home he deliberately drove his motorcycle at 100 km/hr straight into a big truck going the other way. He was killed instantly. So sad that he was so troubled by all that he could see was merely tradition and wrong, for want of a better word. He would have loved this site.
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Re: Counting Our Feelings

Post by Noblemen »

Jac wrote:I really appreciate all that you folks have said on this topic. In the early seventies I had an older brother who was way ahead of his time. He thought deeply (and had a unique sense of humour too). Within a short time of "becoming a Christian" in his late teens he had read the whole bible. He used to turn up to an Open Brethren church in cut-off jeans and a tshirt and rubber thongs because he wanted to invite friends along and for them to come as they were and feel comfortable. (Once when coerced to wear a tie he wore it around his arm!) He was not being rebellious but trying to be real and true to what he believed. He always asked awkward questions. Of course it did not go down well. The gossip line started and he hated that. He went to another city for counselling from a trusted Christian and as he left he said "now I know what I have to do". On the way home he deliberately drove his motorcycle at 100 km/hr straight into a big truck going the other way. He was killed instantly. So sad that he was so troubled by all that he could see was merely tradition and wrong, for want of a better word. He would have loved this site.
Touching story Jac, we miss them more this time of year seems. My dad went that way also in a car wreck, I was 12, Dec 22.
I have heard of the open brethern church, dont know much about them.
Hope you had a Merry Christmas, we had the kids and mean grandkids down for first time since probally the 80's all of us together.
I was so happy I would tear up out of nowhere, my 10 yr old grandson still with me.
eagle77
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Re: Counting Our Feelings

Post by eagle77 »

Aida, understanding church history was critical in hleping me break free from the bondage I had been immersed in for years. Once I began to realize the church system did not allign with the message in the NT, I began to seriously question it and researched it. In the Bible Belt, most believers won't even consider looking into church history. They have been taught it is wrong to even look into or entertain anything other than what they have been taught. For me personally, the traditions I do not like are the ones that are considered as law or fact, but I'm rather fond of Christmas. It's a time to think outside of ourselves, for giving to others, spending time with family - all good things.

Jac, I am so sorry to hear about your brother - that just breaks my heart. The despair of feeling so alone when you no longer are accepted by others can be overwheming. It is so nice to know that there are others that feel the same way I do - although we may not always agree on some things. It has made such a difference for me, and might had for your brother. I'm glad that you have come here, and hope you realize that you are not alone.

Nobleman, I'm really sorry about your father. I can't imagine how hard that must have been as young boy to lose his father so close to Christmas. You brought a big smile to my face when I read how you finally had the opportunity to enjoy all of kids and grandkids at Christmas!! I hope you enjoy the rest of your time with your grandson!! :)
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Re: Counting Our Feelings

Post by leaso75581 »

New to this site and checking things out. I too have been raised to doubt my feelings. I agree that feelings can be guides, but what about when our feelings are going crazy on you. I asked God about this and the answer that I believe he gave my heart was, "Go with the facts." For example, some days I feel like the most unloved, unwanted person on the planet. It's not rational when I feel this way, but nevertheless it's how I feel. I now try to combat these feelings with facts: I AM loved. I am the daughter of the Most High. I have an amazing husband and children.. Etc. Etc. Because of these frequent experiences, I have a hard time trusting my feelings.
I've been on this free believer walk for less than 3 years and obviously I still have a lot to learn.
The love and encouragement I've read on this page is so heartwarming and authentic. I hope to make great friends and learn from you guys!! I'm open to any tips, advice, etc. I pray everyone has an awesome year!! :) :)
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AidaC
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Re: Counting Our Feelings

Post by AidaC »

Feelings can be all over the place at times but I think we can know their source and I think you've obviously figured that out. I feel we may have to test our feelings to determine their source. If they speak love and encouragement, we can be pretty sure they're okay to follow.

I've also learned to allow feelings to help me make decisions. One of the criteria I use is to follow the desires of my heart. If I want to do something and that desire stays with me, then I will begin to follow them. However, if there's a risk involved, I may follow slowly checking for a red light. I've learned that following my feelings doesn't always involve jumping in immediately but it is okay to test the waters and move slowly.
leaso75581 wrote: The love and encouragement I've read on this page is so heartwarming and authentic. I hope to make great friends and learn from you guys!! I'm open to any tips, advice, etc. I pray everyone has an awesome year!! :) :)
Welcome to our forum, leaso. We're glad you're here. I hope you'll enjoy it here and will receive the encouragement you need.
"Smell the aroma of your union with Christ" - Andrew Farley
Noblemen
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Re: Counting Our Feelings

Post by Noblemen »

eagle77 wrote:Aida, understanding church history was critical in hleping me break free from the bondage I had been immersed in for years. Once I began to realize the church system did not allign with the message in the NT, I began to seriously question it and researched it. In the Bible Belt, most believers won't even consider looking into church history. They have been taught it is wrong to even look into or entertain anything other than what they have been taught. For me personally, the traditions I do not like are the ones that are considered as law or fact, but I'm rather fond of Christmas. It's a time to think outside of ourselves, for giving to others, spending time with family - all good things.

Jac, I am so sorry to hear about your brother - that just breaks my heart. The despair of feeling so alone when you no longer are accepted by others can be overwheming. It is so nice to know that there are others that feel the same way I do - although we may not always agree on some things. It has made such a difference for me, and might had for your brother. I'm glad that you have come here, and hope you realize that you are not alone.

Nobleman, I'm really sorry about your father. I can't imagine how hard that must have been as young boy to lose his father so close to Christmas. You brought a big smile to my face when I read how you finally had the opportunity to enjoy all of kids and grandkids at Christmas!! I hope you enjoy the rest of your time with your grandson!! :)
Thank you appreciate your kind words
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Re: Counting Our Feelings

Post by Santosj »

Imagine not trusting anything you feel. That is just totally wrong. But many of us were there. Or always trying to find the will of God input lives. As if we can be out of his will. Silly things I believed in the past.
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