4. Woo-o-o Feelings

Worst 9  Feelings, Morris AlbertAmong my generation’s songs that I find myself apologizing for was a tear-fest called “Feelings,” by Morris Albert. (Another 70’s embarrassment was anything by the Bee Gees.) “Feelings” was one of those songs that immediately dampened the high you drove forward with after hearing BTO or Foreigner and made you jump for the tuner as fast as you could. The lyrics started out like this:

Feelings, nothing more than feelings
Trying to forget my feelings of love
Teardrops rolling down on my face
Trying to forget my feelings of love

Feelings, for all my life I’ll feel it
I wish I’ve never met you, girl
You’ll never come again
Feeling, woo-o-o feeling
Woo-o-o, feel you again in my arms

I’m so sorry if it’s stuck in your head the rest of the day.

I’m not saying that sorrow over lost love is bad in and of itself, but as I try to imagine an animal singing ”Feelings,” the best thing I come up with is Jabba the Hut from Return of the Jedi, if he missed out on capturing Han Solo, and later had just a little too much to drink while feeling sorry for himself at a lounge bar.

Feelings are often counterproductive. They can, and regularly do, compromise our faith. They come between us and a relationship with God and propel us to act in ways contrary to His will.

Here’s how we often react to feelings:

  • We feel lonely – we seek out selfish relationship
  • We feel angry – we display selfish aggression
  • We feel sad – we wallow in selfish isolation
  • We feel happy – we clench onto a temporary fulfillment
  • We feel fear – we seek out an earthly safety

Notice the commonality – all these feelings are self-serving. And very often our approach is to deal with them on our own in a way that doesn’t work, or maybe works for a little while but then fails. That failing can take various forms. We can immediately suffer the consequences. We may salve a problem only to have it boil later. Our emotional fix may satisfy us, but hurt others.

Any time we emphasize, dwell on, or surrender to our feelings, we are compromising our attention to the Will of God.

So are feelings to be avoided? Well that’s a bit of a non-starter, because we can’t avoid them. I would say that we can’t control emotions as part of our nature, but we can control the nature of our emotions.

What the heck does that mean?

We all know that Jesus had feelings. He displayed anger. He wept. He was afraid. But he was in command of his emotions. More than that, his emotions worked toward a different end than ours – God’s Will as opposed to our wants. Hopefully we can get a better understanding of that as we go.

I’m finding myself trying to over-comprehensively flesh out my posts, so instead of trying to do it all in this post which is starting to fry my brain, I think I’ll develop more as I go. A mindset on emotions (is that an oxymoron?) for me gets a bit convoluted:

  • There are different types of anger and of fear, etc.
  • How come we get into trouble with emotions but Jesus didn’t?
  • How can we bring our emotions in line with the Will of God?
  • Feelings happen when there’s something wrong and we want it to be right, or it’s right after having been wrong. So we get trapped in the kind of up and down roller coaster that Buddha said keeps us in bondage. How do we get out of that bondage?
  • Is desire tied to emotion?

I just realized that I’m starting to sound like one of those self-help books on the Christian bookstore shelves. So I’ll wrap by saying this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our typical approach to Feelings is Selfish, Selfish, and more Selfish. So stop being Selfish. Woo-o-o.JabbaPromo

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “4. Woo-o-o Feelings

  1. Himself

    Selfish! Let’s break that word down. “Sel” is to put on the market. “Fish” is something that smells if we keep it too long. so if we market it sooner than later, we get rid of the smell that could make us turn our nose up. We rid it of ourselves by doing for others what we would like others to do unto us. Selfishness is an emotion. Emotions are hard to understand. We hear a song. Are we happy, or are we sad. It depends on the experiences we had at the first or last or in between times we heard it . Albert’s Feelings are sad because the singer wanted to be sad,. Sad should be avoided, but when it is in an album and we hold on to it , does it mean we want to be sad? Junk it for something that makes us happy, like an ice cream cone.
    There were times when music was happy, the late40’s and 50’s. the 60’s70’s and 80’s were a sad time. Where would you rather be? I was there with my bride and still are in the good times.

    Reply
  2. John

    Steve,

    I’ve found that the battle to surrender and control our feelings is a pretty good indicator of our spiritual maturity. Its easy to put on the showy parts of being a christian: going to church, reading our bible, talking the talk… but actually dying to self and surrendering our feelings to God’s will requires a maturity that, I suspect, I’ll be growing in for the rest of my life.

    John

    Reply

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