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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

In the Feels

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23

When teenagers want to convey that something touches your heart, they might say that thing "gets you in the feels." Another example is if someone is emotional, or she wants to talk about her feelings, she would be, "in her feels."

Both of my children accuse me of this constantly. I have to agree, I am sensitive. I tend to cry easily, whether I am watching a sad movie or just a touching commercial. Tears come readily for me even listening to a sweet song. I can't help it! But feelings can be deceptive.  

After a discussion about the fruit of the spirit, my kids mentioned that sometimes we don't "feel" like being kind or gentle, or some of those other qualities. In God’s great wisdom, He knew that humans need help in these areas. We can't possibly pull off these qualities in our own strength. Our flesh gets in the way many times. But with the Lord's help, in His strength, we can accomplish much more.

Our feelings do not tell the whole story. We need to check our thoughts as well. What thoughts are going through our minds that are cultivating negative feelings? We have tools to use against those negative thoughts. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Phil. 4:8).

Do you think on what is true, right, and excellent? It’s not as easy as it sounds. We can get wrapped up in the bad thoughts. The good news is that we can take our thoughts captive to line up with His. When we allow God to change our thoughts, He also changes our feelings. When our thoughts are focused on the Lord, He can use us to live out the fruit of the spirit that He longs for us to share.

God, help us to think on Your truth and  walk in the fruit of the spirit so that we can show Your love to others.


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