You aren’t what you feel.

One of the great lies of our time is that my feelings define me. They don’t. They’re real, for sure, but they’re not always true. Most of our feelings come and go based on circumstances, biology, and a whole host of lesser variables. They do not reflect reality. They are never right or wrong in themselves, and this is important to understand so that you will stop condemning yourself for what you feel. But they aren’t clues to your identity, either. If you think they are, they will shipwreck your soul.

The Bible says, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” (Gal 5:24) In other words, Christ-followers know the difference between a sudden surge of strong emotions and the life of the Spirit. The former can be triggered by anything from a narcotic cocktail to a football game, but the life of the Spirit is as steady and strong as an ocean current because it derives from eternity. Just as a compass points north regardless of where you are, God points me to self-control regardless of what’s going on. This is why Jesus was able to pray, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing,” (Lk 23:34) while His enemies murdered Him. That’s power. That’s real power. And God wants you to have it. So maybe you need to tell your passions the same thing you tell your teenager; “Sit down and calm down. I love you, but you’re not running this show.” You will be glad if you do. C.S. Lewis pointed out that, “Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has accepted, in spite of your changing moods.” “But the fruit of the Spirit is … self-control.” (Gal 5:22-23) Think it through, and I’ll see you on Sunday. Be true!