When our Feelings and Opinions Get Us in Troubleby Cynthia Jennings on February 17, 2021
Have you ever thought why some big trees can’t withstand storms? After a bit of investigating, I learned the reason why.
Some big trees aren’t able to withstand storms due to the fact they had incredibly shallow roots. The roots of those trees had grown use to getting surface water from sprinkler systems. As a result, the roots didn’t dig down deep to get water from below. Shallow roots can keep a big tree alive but not stable during storms.
There are other trees that look big and strong on the outside, but inside are hollow. At some point an ant will find a weak spot in the tree and begin chewing a tiny little tunnel into the tree’s center. Eventually other ants will find their way in as well. Soon water will get in the opening and soften the wood. Over time, the tree will rot away internally.
The analogy of these two trees made me think of the condition of God’s people at the end of the book of Judges: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). The final words of this passage provide a heartbreaking reality check even for us today. They did what was right in their own eyes. When we fall into this trap, we (flesh)are operating out of a shallow mindset. What we(flesh) deem as right is not what God deems as right. Operating out of our flesh will eventually lead us to rotting internally.
Relying solely on our feelings and opinions can unfortunately lead to patterns of sin and destruction. The “what I want to do” mentality of God’s people at the end of the book of Judges demonstrated their shallow minds. What felt “right” to them was completely outside what God called right and good. When you’re outside of what God calls right and good you will eventually rot inside.
What happens when we follow our own feelings and opinions (what’s right in our own eyes) rather than what God calls right and good?
1. We mistake opinions as truth (Mathew 13:1-9)
Just like the tree with the shallow roots, if we aren’t’ digging in deep to seek the source of living water for ourselves we won’t have the grounding necessary to stand strong when the world’s ways try to pull us down. We must be intentional in seeking and applying God’s truth daily so we aren’t easily swayed by feelings and opinions that aren’t aligned with God’s Word of Truth. Shallow seeking will lead to shallow believing thus leading to the inability to withstand storms.
Remember the big tree that was taken down by some small ants? Well, the little ants are like desires that lead to eventual death. When we care more about what feels right than what is right, we slowly open ourselves up to the destruction of sin. Not realizing those little desires that tell us it’s ok to indulge in what feels right, are the same little desires that will cause us to rot internally. Feelings are great indicators that remind us to turn to God and allow Him to direct our desires. But feelings should never be dictators to get our unmet longings and desires fulfilled however we see fit and at whatever cost. Our feelings should NEVER override The Holy Spirit.
What happened when the king is absent? Chaos! The book of Judges shows us this reality one story after another, one judge after another. The people are without leadership and direction and the result is absolute chaos. We need structure. We need a king. But not just any king; we need the righteous ruler who will right all wrong, direct, protect, redeem and restore us and all things. We NEED KING JESUS! The prefect Savior who humbled himself to take on human form and subjected Himself to the cross for the atonement of sin.
The honest truth! We aren’t kingless, like the people in the time of the judges. We have the assurance of knowing our eternal King. We have the gift of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and we have the living Word. The living Word teaches us the dangers of doing what’s right in our “own eyes.”
Those who are solely ruled by their feelings are shallow impressionable people who merely look confident and capable on the outside while slowly rotting internally. Those who are solely ruled by God’s Word, have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and allow The Holy Spirit to lead and guide them. They are impressionable people who may not always look confident and capable on the outside but have the assurance and depth to do what is good and right according to God, thus equipping them to withstand any storm.
PEARLStoPONDER: What type of tree are you? That big beautiful tree with shallow roots, the strong tree that looks like it could withstand anything yet its’ slowly rotting daily or the tree that doesn’t get much attention yet it’s deeply rooted.
Psalm 1:1-4-- Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.