Can your feelings show the truth?
Yes and No.
Feelings can be a dangerous indicator of what is true because we can let our emotions get in the way of what is actually true or what should be done. An excellent example from the Bible is in 2 Samuel Ch. 6. where King David wants to bring the Ark of God to Jerusalem. Before we get into what happens, we need first to understand what the Ark of God is. In short, it is the physical representation of God. It was to be honored as Holy; God gave specific rules in handling the Ark, etc. Two that we need to know for the context of what happens in 2 Samuel is that the Ark was to be carried by long poles (Exodus 25:12-15) and was never to be touched (Num. 4:15-20). In 2 Samuel 6:1-9, it says that they were carrying the Ark on a “new cart” (v3) that was being driven by Uzzah and Ahio (v3). In v6, we learn that oxen were leading it. So far, we know that they are carrying the Ark of God in a cart behind oxen, already not good. In v6, it tells us that the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah, in reaction, reached and took hold of the Ark. The result of this disobedience to God’s Law? Verse 7 “And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God.” What?! This goes against our human thinking. Uzzah was doing a good thing, wasn’t he? Uzzah was doing the honorable thing. He felt that his actions would have been exemplary. His feelings seemed justified. I mean, THE ARK OF GOD was about to hit the dirt. Who wouldn’t have jumped at the opportunity to do the “honorable” thing and keep it from falling? Uzzah’s feelings, while they may have had the appearance of looking correct, were wrong. R. C. Sproul says, “one of Uzzahs problems is he thought his hand was cleaner than the dirt.” What a picture! But it shows us just how wrong Uzzah was. Uzzah shows us something about what we feel to be true, which is this: If our wants aren’t God’s wants, then our wants aren’t good, no matter how “good” or “right” they may feel to us.
Uzzah had done what he thought was right, based on his feelings, but they went against God’s word. This is a constant theme throughout history, from Adam and Eve to us today. Today you have people using their feelings as indicators of what is truth. People are saying that they feel they are a woman when they are a man. People are going by their feelings and committing adultery. People are going by their feelings and committing murder. People are going by their feelings and doing things God doesn’t approve of because they feel it is ok. Once again, just because we feel something is right doesn’t mean that it is. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us, “the heart is desperately wicked, who can understand it?” Our hearts are drawn towards wickedness, which is why we should question every feeling and emotion. This leads us to our next question, can our feelings ever be true?
Can our feelings ever be true?
Yes. God gave us emotions, feelings. God is not a God without emotions. We see throughout the Bible that God hates evil. Hating the evil in this world is a good thing. We should be angry at the atrocities that occur, from human trafficking to false teaching that leads people away from the truth. We also see throughout the Bible that God has mercy and compassion on people frequently. It’s a good thing that we have compassion for others. There are people with real issues in this world, namely their sin issue that only Christ can fix, and it’s compassionate to worry and care about those things. Not doing those things should make us question if we love God properly. So to say that our feelings are never true would be a wrong assumption.
So what do we do? How do we know if our feelings are correct? How do we know if we have a proper mindset? Simple. We have to filter every feeling, emotion through the Word of God. When we are angry at something, does God’s word say we have a right to be angry? When we see hurting, do we turn a blind eye? When we love others, are we loving the way that God called us to love through His Word? When we have “biblical lenses,” we can discern more correctly how to live and react to certain situations at home and in the world. Like calling out evil in this world, seeking to help the hurting, and loving our family properly. This is called having a Biblical worldview and is something that every believer is supposed to have. We can say that we believe the Word of God is authoritative, inerrant, infallible, and all truth, but if we don’t go to it regularly with our lives can we say that we really believe this? Can we really say we have a biblical worldview if we don’t filter our lives through it? The Bible is to be the believer’s guide in life, so when asking the question, can our feelings ever be true, the answer is yes and no. Always keep 2 Timothy 3:16-17 in mind.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:16–17