Before you totally tune out this article and begin attacking me with "feelings are valid," hear me out.

Feelings are valid and are completely normal, and we should take our feelings and process them, not bottle them up inside. This being said, when we as Christians base our relationship with Christ solely on our feelings, we will steadily move further away from Him, instead of closer. Feelings are fickle, and the can't be trusted.

For example, today I felt hungry right after lunch, so I found a fudge round and ate it. Was I actually hungry? No. Did I FEEL hungry? Yes. This is a decision I made based only on feelings. Just as this wasn't beneficial to me, basing my relationship with Christ on feelings is even more damaging.

Another way to look at this is to consider a relationship between a boyfriend and a girlfriend. The minute they stop "feeling" the love, they immediately stop trying to grow closer to each other. Similarly, this is how our relationship with Jesus works, except we are the ones that stop trying to grow closer to Him. Feelings are here one second, gone the next. They don't involve effort, and any good relationship takes a huge amount of effort. When we trust in our feelings, we are not putting the effort in necessary to further our relationship with Christ. Growth closer to Christ isn't something that just happens automatically, but it's something we are called to do. It's work, but it's work that we as Christians grow to enjoy because it means learning more about our Heavenly Father. So what does the Bible say about feelings and growing closer to Christ?

2 Peter 1:5-8

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I don't know about you, but for me, these qualities are hard to live out. Because of our human nature, we don't want to be good. We don't want to have self-control. We don't want any of these things because they're hard. If we relied on how we felt, we would never pursue these things which are of God because they wouldn't FEEL good. Relationships aren't easy, and a relationship with Jesus Christ is the hardest one, but it is SO worth it.

Jeremiah 17:9

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

Proverbs 14:12-13

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief.

Feelings are from the heart and the Bible is clear that when we think with our heart and not with a biblical point of view, we are deceived. We cannot trust the heart, but we can always trust God and His Word. When we base our decisions only on what feels right, we will almost always end up with the opposite effect of what we wanted to happen. We must consult God before making a decision because He will never steer us wrong because His ways bring life, and life abundantly (John 10:10).

Feelings are important to our mental, physical, and obviously emotional health, but we should never base relationships on them, especially our relationship with God. When it comes to your faith, forget your feelings and replace them with the Word of God and insight found through prayer.