Monday, August 13, 2012

Obedience > Emotion

This week I've been convicted of relying on emotional motivation to act like the Christian I claim to be.

Perhaps my charismatic upbringing taught me that emotion should be the force that drives me to action. Or maybe humans are just like that because obedience is something you learn and have to practice while emotion comes naturally.

Although there's nothing intrinsically wrong with having an emotion drive you to something, we all know our emotions can be faulty. They all to often drive us in the wrong direction and some emotions tend to trump other good ones. I can't count the number of times fear has overcome my feelings of compassion or joy. That's why I've never been an advocate of the phrase "follow your heart." All it really means is do whatever you feel like at the moment, even if it's a horrendous relational or financial mistake. I don't even want to think what my life would be like if I lived by that motto. But I guess that brings me to my realization, many days I get lazy, rebellious and fearful and I do live by it.

Surely, I'm not alone in this. At some point we've all identified with Paul in Romans 7, "What I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do".

I don't want a heartbreaking news article about a woman killing her 20 week old twins to be what wakes me up to the hurting around me. It shouldn't take a Vimeo movie set to moving music to ignite compassion in me. But how often it does and then one of two things happen: I'm entirely unprepared in helping or I simply wait for another emotion to distract me so that I don't have to deal with it.

Tonight I'm asking myself questions about obedience and I'm wondering what my life would look like if I practiced more of it. And quite frankly, I'm intimidated. I feel like I'm at the starting line and I have no idea how far until the finish. I don't know what types of hurdles are ahead or who will be there to cheer me on.

I want the Church to be there. Not cheering from the stands, but as they jump the hurdles with me. Rain or shine, PMS or health, we can help one another in making our life motto this:

"I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me —the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace." Acts 20:24

Michaela Rae


  1. my friend and I realized after both taking brief and somewhat unintended hiatuses from the church how much the church service itself attempts to charge you emotionally in order to convince you that God is present or that life is great. We have to be really careful to realize that God is there always and that feelings can be fickle.

    1. I suppose it really depends on what type of church you attend, but I've certainly been to a few where this is true. I think it's really unfortunate when church on Sunday does not prepare us realistically for what life is like on Monday.


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