Like many trauma survivors, I used to suffer from a myriad of emotions such as anger, anxiety, and depression. I was in pain all of the time. What motivated me to change; however, was not the emotional pain, but rather the destructive results to my character. I did not like myself, or rather the person I had become. This was where I found the strength to turn to Christ for help.
I have shared a lot of personal information in this blog to illustrate what a miracle my life has been. Today I want to turn to the subject of destructive feelings because I know many Christian suffer from mood disorders that could be healed if they only knew the way. I agree with Dallas Willard when he says “we do not have to be victimized by destructive feelings.” (Renovation of the Heart, p. 122)
“Feelings are, with a few exceptions, good servants. But they are disastrous masters.” (Renovation of the Heart, p. 122) As God works to transform our will, as we pursue him by practicing the spiritual disciplines, our feelings will be healed. They cannot continue to rule our lives; God will not allow it. He will accomplish what years of therapy cannot. “The mongoose of a disciplined will under God and good is the only match for the cobra of feeling.“ (Renovation of the Heart, p.127)
Feelings cannot be suppressed, but little by little, they will change as they are replaced by the fruits of the spirit. As we come to God, from where we are right now in our ruined state, he will tear down the destructive images that these feelings draw from and replace them with a faith in him. We must become as the psalmist:
“I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8
For more thoughts on how to begin this journey of healing in our feelings see: