I’ve picked up more of the cooking in our home lately and with that, I can tell you with all confidence that the smoke alarms throughout the house are working just fine (Ahem). Just like our feelings, they sense something but when they go off they cannot tell the difference between a dangerous fire or burnt toast. Whenever I hear the familiar beeps it’s up to me to investigate. “Is this real?” “Is it time to panic?” “Should I dial 911?” Or “Do I need to turn on the house fan to blow out the smoke?” “Was that the last cup of raw almonds?” The basic questions.

It’s no different with our feelings. Something rises up in us and if there’s no obvious reason, it would be best if we look into the situation before acting on it. If our feelings are left to themselves we might think the whole place is burning down. Our feelings are valid but should not be the sole source for our decision making. When we completely ignore our feelings, it’s the same as unplugging the smoke detectors, it isn’t wise and it isn’t safe.

Even our happy feelings aren’t always good at giving directions. The way another person makes us feel may seem lovely but in the wrong context we can’t ignore our judgement. When relationships fall outside of healthy guidelines, it’s tempting to chase those feelings and hit the mute button on the truth.

When I was young, suppressing “negative emotions” became a way to keep peace. We now know that numbing ourselves comes in destructive forms that create a much bigger set of problems than working through being sad.

As a follower of Christ, when acting on my feelings contradicts the wisdom of the Scriptures, I need to reset my heart and mind. Wisdom would tell me to readjust, acknowledge the feelings as real and choose actions that don’t cause harm. Even if others don’t validate your feelings, the One who created you will. Give them to him and let him whisper his truth over you.

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