Monday, January 26, 2009

Feeling Faithful

As a recently married woman, I am well-acquainted with the goodness and blessings that result from feelings. I think it was a special gift of God that He allows us to experience the same emotions He does - love, compassion, joy and peace. Even anger is a blessing because when rightly expressed it helps aligns us with the things that God hates and the sins that defame Him. Feelings are a barometer - they demonstrate what is important to us and the value that we place on such things. Anyone can have a duty to another person, but to feel something for them requires an investment that'd not easily made.

However, despite the proclivity of feelings to be a gauge for how our life is going, it shouldn't be the only standard by which we measure our lives. In fact, it's quite possible that it shouldn't even be the most important standard. Because, as we all well know, feelings change. However, despite the volatility of feelings, the obligations and commitments that come along with them do not vacilate as well. Therefore, something that is changable can not be the yardstick for evaluating that which is supposed to remain the same. A measurement must be consistent for it to be useful for anything at all. (Imagine the disasters that would happen in the kitchen or the construction yard if measurements changed on a regular basis.) Therefore, just as our pastor told us in pre-marital counseling, the feelings of "puppy dogs and icecream" that we have at the start of our marriage can not be the basis for the commitment we made. When those feelings change, the vows remain, and its those vows that must serve as our guide.

In the same way, people approach God with the view that fidelity to His principles is based on how they feel. If that's true, than that commitment isn't really a commitment at all. Because Christians know that they must agree with God that their sin is sin and that apart from Him nothing can save us. If this is the basis of our faith, then it is an immutable commitment. Our feelings, or lack therefore, have nothing to do with it.

We want to trust and turn to God in moments of despair and in moments of grandeur because at this moments we recognize that we are altogether different from who God is. But we must honor our commitment to faithfully serve Him even when we don't feel like it. For feeling faithful is a temporary condition. Being faithful is permanent.

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