I'm going to ask a series of questions and leave you to fill in the blanks. I'll do the same. Our answers may be different, but that doesn't mean our solution necessarily will be. In fact, I know it won't. We'll get to that in a minute, but first, the questions.
What does one do when sad? Eat.
What does one do when disappointed? Eat.
What does one do when the weight of the world is upon her shoulders? Eat.
What does one do when the joy in the moment has dried up and one is left numb? Eat.
What does one do when the anger threatens to bulldoze its way through one's very soul? Eat.
What does one do when the joy threatens to burst open. Eat.
What does one do when so bone-weary tired? Eat.
What does one do when feeling left out? Eat.
What does one do when bored? Eat.
What does one do out of habit, out of routine, or out of expectations? Eat
What does one do when tempted? Eat.
Did you fill in the blanks? Was your answer the same as mine? Maybe. Maybe not.
But if your answer was to . . .
. . . then you are basically doing the same as I - feeding feelings.
We can feed our feelings in a myriad of ways that do not always involve a fork.
The questions above are rather trick questions because with whatever we filled in the blank is only the answer, but it's not the solution.
What's the solution? Allow me to indulge in my specialty of answering a question with another question.
What if we were to take take all of these feelings to the foot of the cross and leave them there?
Would that truly satisfy. Father says "yes!"
I do NOT feed my feelings in any way, shape, or form.
My feelings are meant to dealt with in other ways.
First and foremost, I take them to Father.
Then . . .
If I'm sad, I need encouragement. I can talk to a loved one.
If I'm disappointed, I need to look at my expectations. I can give up my right to have things my way.
If the weight of the world is upon on my shoulders, I need to not take all of the responsibility. I give it to the Lord to carry as He promised. I can ask someone for help.
If the joy has dried up, I need encouragement. I remember that the joy of the Lord lives within me and I don't have to conjure up anything. It's there already. He's already there.
If I'm angry, I need to know what I'm feeling underneath. I write it all down and allow Father to show me what the anger is really masking.
If I'm so filled with joy that I don't know how to contain it any longer, I need to celebrate. I write in my gratitude journal or make a rock to commemorate Father's goodness in my life.
If I'm bone-weary tired, I need rest. I take a nap or go to bed early.
If I'm left out, I remember that in Christ I am accepted and rejoiced over . I run into his throne room knowing I will be received with delight and joy.
If I'm bored, I need authentic need for wonder or excitement. Thankfully I can pray that Father shows me His delight in the moment. I can also get up and focus upon another and his/her needs.
If I find myself eating out of routine or habit, I need wisdom. Wisdom lives inside me in the form of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit and I can find something else to do. He's quite good at that.
If I find myself tempted, I reach out to another, knowing that Father promises a way out is always an option. Always.
What I don't do, however, is feed feelings.
Basically, I allow Christ in me to supply what is REALLY needed instead of what is a quick fix in the moment.
Father is a storehouse of riches and it's available to me--
In Jesus Christ!
"Use it or lose it." Thankfully this adage is never true in Jesus Christ. We can't lose His presence. We are now one spirit with Him. How can that be separated?
But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 1 Corinthians 6:17
I can chose to live FROM Him or I can choose to get my needs met in illegitimate ways.
But I don't feed feelings. And I do not let them drive the bus of my life.
Neither do you.
That's someone else's job.
What will we choose today?
(I'd love to know how you are tempted to "feed your feelings." Leave a comment below and let me know I'm not alone. :)
p.s. Feel free to share this post with someone you care about. If you would like to subscribe, you may do so either at the top or very bottom of my blog's home page. Thank you for walking this journey with me. It helps to know we are all basically in the same boat, just one painted slightly differently.