With all the political theatre gripping the United States, feelings and emotions are running high. It’s easy to get caught up in feelings and get dragged into a whirlpool of confusion. I’ve found it happening myself, so I turned off the media and stopped checking for updates on my phone.
In the self-imposed silence, I prayed and breathed until I could hear God’s voice.
He kept bringing Matthew 7:16-17 to mind.
“By their fruit, you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.”
As I pondered what God was showing me, it appeared He was helping me understand a few things:
- I bear fruit whether I feel like it or not.
- The fruit I bear is judged by God as either good or bad. My feelings on this matter not.
- God expects me to bear good fruit. Period. That is a fact God cares about.
I may feel like I’m bearing worthy fruit, such as meaning to pray for someone or going to church most Sundays. Taking my children to Wednesday night activities while I stay home and do something else may feel justified.
And…I’m not saying I haven’t done these things–I have. But, I have to continue to be shown that what matters to God is not what I feel like I’m doing but what I am actually doing.
Don’t get me wrong. God cares about how we feel. He loves us deeper than we’ll ever know. But…just as we do to our own children, He will eventually tell us to get over how we feel about it, and do what we are supposed to do.
When others view me, they make judgments about whether I walk the walk of a Christian. They base their assessment on fruit facts. They may feel I’m nice enough and a good person. But, that alone won’t change their minds about Jesus.
Only my fruit facts can. A heart must be changed by facts.
God listens as I tell Him how I feel. He comforts my fears and uncertainties. He consoles me when I’m sad. He loves me in spite of my up and down feelings. But…in the end, He expects me to grow up and do what I need to do, in spite of my feelings.
Joyce Meyer once said, and it has always stayed with me, “Feelings are fickle.”
I have found her statement to be true.
Do you struggle with fickle feelings, as I do? This week, let’s both remember God loves us. But, as a good father would, He has high standards for us in the fruit department. Fact is, He wants good fruit no matter how we feel about it.