March 19, 2009
If It Feels Right, Control It!
by Charles R. Swindoll
Sometime during the crazy decade of the 1960s, when everything went topsy-turvy, emotions were promoted to first place. Feelings became more important than logic, more important than clear thinking, even more important than common sense. Everything began to be determined not by objective reason but by subjective emotions. As the line between right and wrong got blurred, life started revolving around how you felt. "If it feels good, do it" became the adopted philosophy of everyday life.
Remember the song "You Light Up My Life," which became so popular? Seemed like all the world was singing it. There was a line in the lyrics that said it all: "It can't be wrong when it feels so right."
Oh, really? That'll get you into a lot of trouble. Think about it.
Some guy cuts you off on the freeway. Because it would "feel so right," why not run him off the road and punch his lights out?
There's this lady at the office who is efficient, thoughtful, and drop-dead gorgeous. Furthermore, she thinks you're terrific. It just "feels so right" to take her to dinner and spend time all alone with her---maybe even begin an affair.
Everybody around you is cheating in class---and they ace the exams while you're struggling to make a passing grade. Because they're all doing it and getting away with it, it "feels so right" for you to do what they're doing.
You're sick and tired of this diet you've been on for several weeks. You've had a hard day, it's Friday night, you're alone, and that half gallon of rocky road is getting old in the freezer. It just "feels so right" for you to get a big spoon, smother it all in chocolate syrup, and binge.
Understand, there's nothing wrong with emotion---matter of fact, God made us emotional creatures. And feelings? They're a huge part of our lives. Thanks to feelings that emerge from our emotions, we have compassion for others, we care about our children, we have peace when we follow God's will, we experience a surge of patriotism while singing our national anthem, we split our sides laughing at something that's really funny, and we are drawn deeper in love with someone we've been dating, someone we begin to realize we should marry. How vacant life would be without those and hundreds of other feelings!
With that said, it's clear that the secret is control. While our emotional make-up adds color and spontaneity to life, we'd agree that it must be controlled. Like a river, our feelings need some well-defined and wise boundaries, or they will flood out of control and cause havoc.
We've all been there.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.