What Our Feelings Reveal About Us
By JASON SCHLABACH
When we are aware of our feelings we can learn many things about our core beliefs
THE BELIEF/EMOTION CONNECTION
“WE FEEL WHATEVER WE BELIEVE”
Someone will probably argue that when bad things happen it is only right that we feel badly. They may ask, “If someone is rude to us, mistreats us, or acts unjustly, would our feeling hurt, rejected, or unloved, not be the expected response?” Rather than discussing the right or wrong aspects of how we respond to life’s difficulties, we will take a few steps back and look at why we feel what we feel in any given moment. Why we feel what we do all goes back to our heart (or core)-belief and how we are using it to interpret what is happening. We have little control over what is happening to us, but we have much control about what we will do with our belief.
A DIFFICULT BUT VITAL TRUTH
This is a very difficult principle with which many people struggle. Nonetheless, it is the truth that we feel whatever we believe. Our emotions are never caused by what is happening to us in the moment, remembering what happened to us in the past, or because of what anyone in our lives -no matter how mean, cruel or evil they may be- has done or is doing. We always and ONLY feel what we believe. Belief -whether the truth or a lie- is the reason we are feeling what we are feeling.
There really is no workaround in this. Our minds are limited in understanding the present apart from our belief. This is not to say that what has happened to us was not unjust, evil, or wrong, for it very well may have been so. Nonetheless, how we respond emotionally to what has happened is still our interpretation of what the assumed “bad” means for us personally. Our beliefs are the lenses through which we arrive at the meaning we ascribe to the moment. We interpret the current situation and remember our past through these same lenses. Some people may react to this by saying, “It is only normal to feel bad when bad things happen!” I agree that this is what we “normally” do, but it does not mean that it is God’s desire for us. If feeling bad is God’s normal for us when we encounter “various trials”, then we have much Scripture we will need to cut out of the Bible.
“HUMBLE YOURSELVES UNTO GOD…”
AND “DRAW NEAR…” TO HIM
It is imperative that when life happens and we feel a negative emotion stir up, that we choose to act on the truth and not on what our rational and logical mind may tell us. Our minds may say, “What they did was unjust (possibly the truth) therefore, I feel ________” (not true). What typically follows is us acting out on what we are feeling in the moment. Sometimes we act out on the person involved, other times, we act inwardly through some form of self-medication. Either response will have bad consequence.
Jason Schlabach · FOUNDER & LEAD COUNSELOR
Jason is the founder of Door of Hope and the pastor of Foothills Community Chapel in Columbus, NC. Jason has the heart of a shepherd, giving oversight and direction to the many arms of Door of Hope. His passion is for people to be able to connect with their Heavenly Father, and to walk in the abundant life that is possible through Jesus Christ.
The flow of ministry has not been a stagnant pool, but a river steadily flowing wherever God is leading in the counseling ministry, and in seeing people set free. Jason and his wife, Fern live in Columbus, NC. They have five children: Landon, Heather, Reece, Destinee, and Paige, and one grandson, Bodhi.