Thursday, June 23, 2005

Discipline of Feelings

I have been thinking recently upon 'feelings' - as I had been aware of some strong feelings that did not like suffering! Feelings have always seemed a hard thing to do away with - they seem like an integral part of who I am and as unpredictable as the weather. I recently read through Elisabeth Elliot's chapter in Discipline: The Glad Surrender concerning discipline of feelings and found some really helpful thoughts. Namely, I will never, in this life be free from a sense of feeling, but I do know that which I can do with my feelings. They can be named and offered to Jesus with a prayer that I would value obedience to him much more highly than "feeling good." Interestingly, a fruit of the Spirit is self-control.

Peter puts it, "You must therefore be mentally stripped for action, perfectly self-controlled. Fix your hopes on the gift of grace which is to be yours when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not let your characters be shaped any longer by the desires you cherished in your days of ignorance. The one who called you is holy; like him be holy in all your behavior."