Chapter 5: What You Feel vs. What Is Real

“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?” – David Martyn Lloyd Jones

Chapter 5 of The Cross Centered Life opens with this quote. I can honestly say that it has been one of the most life-changing quotes in my life to this point, as has this chapter.

We tend to be very focused on our feelings nowadays. It goes along nicely with the postmodernism society that we live in – my reality is not necessarily your reality and visa versa. And how do we define our realities? Based on our feelings. The “only” problem with this is that our feelings change. Constantly.

Another huge problem with this is that the reality of the gospel message has nothing to do with our feelings about it at the moment! One of my favorite quotes is on page 51, “…regardless of how we feel because the gospel exists independently of us.” There will be times in every believers life when they are down. Perhaps you are going through a time of depression or perhaps you are sad or angry or have had a really bad day. There will always be times when we don’t “feel” loved. There will be times when we wonder if obeying God is even worth it. There will be times when we just want to give into the sin that has been tempting us for so long. There will be times when we feel extreme guilt over past, repented sins.

All these feelings! What can we do against them? To be honest, its not unusual for us to experience most (if not all!) of these feelings in one day! We are women after all. So what do we do?

Talk to yourself!!

Very few of us would feel comfortable saying out loud, “I just don’t think that obeying God is worth it,” or “I’m having a bad day so I’m just going to scream at you now even though I know there is no reason for it!” But these things are easy to think. Rather than listening to yourself, “My life is so boring, he never listens to me, my kids are going to be the death of me, I really hate her….” talk to yourself!

Ladies, we know the truth. We understand the gospel. We have heard it over and over and have told it to others. We know the Lord (although there is always room to know more!) We know His promises and we know our position as his daughters. We know all of these things, but we need to be reminded of them at times!

The next time you are having a bad or emotional day, choose talking to yourself rather than listening to yourself. The next time you are gossiping in your head, preach the gospel to yourself. The next time you are cursing him in your mind, review memory verses. The next time you are dwelling on bitterness, preach to yourself.

You would never remain silent if a women came up to you and immediately began spouting gossip or bitterness. You would react instantly and warn her away from the sin she is in! Do the same for yourself.

Comments

  1. What you said is so true, Nichole. There has been a season of my life where I was extremely depressed. The one thing that brought me out of it was reading the book A Gospel Primer. When I read about how much God loves me and gave up to save me, I was finally able to preach the gospel to myself when I felt sad, or depressed and realize that God never changes eventhough my feelings change. I praise the Lord that He changed my thinking and led me out of the depths of sadness and depression!!

  2. Nichole Henry says:

    Thanks for sharing that Karen! A few months back I also went through a time of serious depression. There was so much going on in my head and I was so relieved that I had read this before I was in the trial! My first thought was that I refused to let bitterness into my life and that I was going to do everything possible to honor God in my thoughts as well as in my outward actions that everyone could see.

    I had to come up with a very specific plan of how I was going to occupy my mind. It wasn't easy and I failed a lot, but by God's grace, He used much of what was taught in this chapter to get me through it.

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