“A little on the heavy side,” my trainer says as he hands me a set of dumbbells. I sigh and reply, “Yes, I know. That’s why I’m here.” We both laugh knowing he was referring to the dumbbells … at least I hope he was referring to the dumbells.
The truth is, I didn’t feel like working out today. Emotionally, I was exhausted. I barely felt like getting out of bed let alone making it up after I finally wrestled my way out of its security. I didn’t feel like amusing small talk on the elevator and I definitely didn’t feel like eating breakfast.
Sometimes life is a series of decisions in opposition to what we feel like doing. Feelings are great. They have the potential to alert us to things that need our attention. They connect us to others. They motivate us, they move us, and they can even inspire works of art. Feelings should be acknowledged. The problem with feelings is that they are fleeting and, if not managed, they can create unreasonable chaos – especially when those feelings are a little on the heavy side.
Feelings can overwhelm and confuse us. They can cloud judgement. As believers, we are called to go beyond simply managing feelings. We are also accountable for measuring them against the truth of God’s words. Feelings will feed thoughts of inadequacy and failure whereas scripture teaches us that we are fully justified by Christ. We are fully forgiven through HIS sacrifice. In God’s love we are good enough and to allow our feelings to convince us otherwise is to forfeit the peace that comes through His faithfulness (Romans 5:1-2).
Are our feelings coming from a place of spiritual growth and maturity as we “rejoice with those who rejoice, [and] weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15) or are we simply entertaining our flesh by failing to “… take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5)? I’ve found in life that sometimes to be successful, you need to acknowledge your feelings but then wage war against them spiritually. Anyone who has ever suffered at all understands that overcoming “feelings” is nothing less than warfare. Thankfully, God equips us for battle (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).
Some nights you may cry until your eyes burn. You may have nightmares and wake up with a headache. There will be times for mourning (Ecclesiastes 3:4). But there comes a time when you have to do the things that need to be done, regardless of how you feel. Get up. Make your bed. Even if you nearly choke on peanut butter toast and a multivitamin, you will feel nourished after eating. If you have no intention of talking to a stranger on an elevator, do it anyway. You may enjoy their company and even get some great hair tips! I promise you will feel more energized after a good workout. So, a little on the heavy side? No problem. You’ve got this.