Facts and Feeling
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:4-13
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 1 Corinthians 13:6, NIV
IMAGINE A SWEDISH boy going to his mother. “Mama,” he says, “I don’t vant to be Svedish anymore.”
Or imagine a grandfather saying to his granddaughter, “I don’t feel like being your grandfather today.”
Or imagine a poor person saying, “I don’t feel like being poor this year!”
Imagine a fourth grader saying, “I feel like being in high school!” Or a skydiver saying, “I don’t need to wear a parachute because I feel like falling up today!”
How would you answer those people?
You’d probably say something like, “It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel like being Swedish; you are Swedish!” or “You can feel like being in high school all you want, but you’re still gonna be a fourth grader!” In other words, a person’s feelings have nothing to do with the facts. Feelings don’t change the facts, right?
Well, the same sort of thing goes on when people try to make right choices. In fact, maybe you even do it. You know that God says, “Love each other” (1 John 4:11), “Love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18), and even “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44). You know he says love is right and hate (or indifference) is wrong.
“But I can’t stand that guy,” you say.
“But you don’t understand how rude and nasty she is,” you say.
“But nobody likes him,” you say.
“But I’m still mad at her,” you say.
But a person’s feelings have nothing to do with the facts. And you can’t change the facts just because of how you feel, right?
Your feelings may be understandable. They may be perfectly normal. They may even be justified. But your feelings don’t change what’s right and what’s wrong. And God has said, “Love each other” (Hebrews 13:1) That’s what’s right—no matter how you feel, no matter how I feel, and no matter how anybody feels. Because our feelings don’t change the facts.
REFLECT: Do you sometimes act as though your feelings determine what’s right and what’s wrong? If so, how? What (or who) does determine what’s right or wrong?
ACT: You might want to create a motto for yourself based on the following verse: “Lord, let your constant love surround us, for our hopes are in you alone” (Psalm 33:22, TLB).
PRAY: “God, I admit that I don’t always feel like loving other people, so remind me that right and wrong aren’t determined by my feelings. Help me to obey you even when I don’t feel loving. Help me to even love people who are hard to love.”