Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Distortion of Wounded Feelings

Job 10:1-3, "I loathe my own life; I will give full vent to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul I will say to God, 'Do not condemn me; let me know why You contend with me. Is it right for You indeed to oppress, to reject the labor of Your hands and to look favorably on the schemes of the wicked?"

When we are hurting, grieving, sick, or distraught, then our emotions are a wreck. Damaged emotions are so effected by our pain that they are distorted greatly. This is indicated in Job's experience. He made the following miscalculations because of his pain:
  • He thought God was oppressing him.
  • He thought God was looking favorably on the evil plans of wicked people.
  • He thought God was condemning him.
  • He thought God was contending (opposing) him.
All of these false ideas seemed so real to Job because of his pain. His spiritual eyes were clouded by the mists of sharp pain and grief. He hurt so much that he said he loathed his life, and his soul was bitter.

Let's think about the following when our wounded feelings create an emotional distortion.
  1. God's love for His people is constant; it never fluctuates or diminishes. There is nothing a child of God can do to make God love him more or less. When we feel unloved by God, remember how much God loves you. Christian friend, God demonstrated His love for His covenant people by sending the blessed second Person of the Trinity in human flesh as a sacrifice for their sin.
  2. Our wounded feelings are inaccurate barometers of reality. What we feel is not necessarily what is true. We must learn to differentiate between what feels real and what is real. Reality is based on truth not feeling. We must learn God's holy Word (the Scriptures) in order to rightly understand reality when we are hurting. It is best to learn truth before you hurt, so that when pain comes you can reflect meaningfully and comfortingly on what you know to be true in the Scriptures.
  3. Never make big decisions in a time of great pain. A wounded person makes poor decisions. When we are hurting deeply, attempt to refrain from making big decisions. Let time pass, try to get your emotional balance, before making big decisions.
  4. Soak in the confidence of future glory. When a Christian is hurting, he is in the perfect position to reflect on the joy and majesty of future glory. Often present pain enables us to better anticipate the glory of eternity.
  5. Do your duty trusting fully in God. It is best to not try to conquer the world when hurting. It is best, when hurting, to focus on what lies at hand. "What is my duty?" "What is my responsibility?" The answers to these questions will guide us as to best spend our time. We must act, work, live, and serve during times of pain. Do not soak in self-pity or self-loathing. It is better to be busy doing what we ought to do. As we do this, trust fully in God for the future.
  6. Worship the Lord. There is nothing more calming, more correcting, more soothing, more inspiring in the Christian's life than true worship. In worship we see ourselves in the context of the greatness of God. In worship we see our sin in the ambiance of divine purity. In worship we see the light of the providence of God when we think nothing but darkness is all around. If you would be healed of heart, go worship.

1 comment:

  1. *Its best to know truth before your hurt, so when the pain comes (and it will come)you can reflect on what you know to be true in scripture.

    By the way, I'm going to share this post with my Jewels class. I think as women we let our feelings try to govern our lives. Many of us start our conversations with, "But I feel like...". Such an important reminder here!

    Thank you for the time you put into this teaching.