“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform.” Romans 4:20-21
As we talk about truth in the Weight Loss, God’s Way Program this week, I need to fess up and start telling the truth about a number of lies that I’ve been telling myself.
Since turning 50 this year, I’m starting to ‘look and feel’ old when I look in the mirror. Despite having lots of energy, eating healthy most days and exercising; despite the wonderful compliments I still get (especially from my hubby), and despite having a healthy BMI (body mass index), my feelings can sometimes lead to what I call ‘stinking thinking’.
How can our feelings be so deceptive? How can I sometimes feel so bad despite all that is good? Have you ever felt this way? These feelings can become paralyzing and debilitating if you and I allow them to.
In the scripture above, Abraham faced many obstacles in his life.
Given the options of fleeing or facing his fears, he chooses to exercise his faith and trust in God. If he focused on his feelings, he would have given up in despair and would never have subdued Canaan. He would never have been the founder of an entire nation!
Every day we’re faced with a choice to act based on our feelings of fear or of faith. Let’s learn how to consistently make the best choice.
If you’re tired of letting your feelings control too many waking hours of your life, apply these simple truths about your feelings.
Feelings Are Not Facts!
Your feelings are subject to change based on your mood, hormones, or what’s happening in your life, yet we treat them as fact. Learn how to separate our feelings from what is actually a fact. If you failed at something, you may feel like a failure but that’s only a feeling and NOT a fact. Your past success can attest to the fact that you are not a failure.
Your Feelings Determine Your Fears
Too often we give into our feelings. A better approach is to use your feelings as a clue to tell you that something deeper is going on and needs your attention.
We often eat when we’re not hungry to stuff a deeper feeling that we don’t want to face; we procrastinate because we’re really afraid of failing (or succeeding); we get angry because we don’t feel like we are being heard or respected. Like the ‘check-engine’ light in your car, use your feelings as a signal that something in your life needs attention. In most cases, you’ll see that there’s an underlying fear behind your feelings.
So the next time you ‘feel’ bored, lonely, hungry, angry, etc., use your feelings as your internal GPS to guide you to the Lord and ask Him what you’re really in need of.
Faith Trumps Feelings
Of course, not all feelings are bad. But based on our life experiences, many of us are led astray by our feelings. “I don’t feel like praying”; “I feel bored”; “I feel lonely”; “I feel sad”; “I feel like eating something.”
Although you may not feel like you have any control over them, you can change your feelings by applying your faith to them.
Recently, I’ve started practicing a new habit I teach in our Weight Loss, God’s Way Program. When I’m experiencing a powerful feeling such as hunger, I’m learning to ask myself, “Is it the truth?”
The conversation goes like this in my head …
“I feel hungry.”
“Really? Is that the truth?”
“No, the truth is I just ate 30 minutes ago.”
“Then what are you really feeling?”
“The truth is, I really don’t want to write (or some other undesirable task). I’d rather do something more enjoyable.”
“Why don’t you want to write?”
“Because I don’t think I will have anything valuable to say.”
At this point, I say a short prayer to God letting Him know that I seek my value from Him and Him alone. I declare that I am valuable because I am made in His image and that I can do all things through Him.
What’s important is that I’ve taken the time to get to the root of what I’m really feeling and turn it over to the only One powerful enough to manage my crazy, irrational feelings. Remember, your feelings are a clue to what your deeper fears are.
Your feelings and fears may be very different from mine, but I encourage you to do this exercise when you’re feeling hungry, angry, or some other feeling or emotion that is leading you astray.
Commit yourself to practice new habits. Simply hoping your problems and strongholds will go away will never change your destructive habits. Like the anorexic woman in my fitness class, your feelings can overpower you and distort the reality of who you really are in Christ so you must replace your feelings with faith.
Your assignment is to confront your feelings and apply your faith to every feeling that does not line up with the Word of God. The Bible tells us to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ
Are you willing to give it a try?
P.S. if you are tired of circling the same mountain over and over and want a Christ-centered approach to lasting weight loss without feeling guilty, deprived, or overwhelmed, be sure to sign up for our video course program right away at cathymorenzie.com