When Obedience Collides With My Emotions

When Obedience Collides With My Emotions

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When your heart is not into being obedient, you need to be obedient anyway to get your heart in the right place. Sometimes obedience is a great way to change what’s going on inside of you.

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A few years ago I was sharing with a friend about how difficult it was to discipline my kids. Because he was a friend, there was a “bridge” for him to speak truth into my life. He was kind and caring, but clear and direct. He said,

Rick, as a dad I understand how difficult it can be to discipline children, but your resistance to disciplining them reveals more about your theology than anything else.

As I thought about his kind words, I came to four conclusions about how true biblical theology was in conflict with my understanding and practice of theology.

  1. I must fulfill obedience issues regardless of how I feel about them.
  2. My understanding of biblical love was incomplete. It pleased the Father to crush His Son, according to Isaiah 53:10.
  3. My weak theological foundation weakened my parenting structure, plus how I practiced parenting.
  4. My understanding of a “theology of suffering” needed to mature (Genesis 50:20).

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The Lord knew that a cross for Christ was a hard thing (Hebrews 2:14-15). He also knew it was necessary because it was the way to salvation for so many. Sometimes theology is hard, painful, and even emotionally difficult to fulfill (Luke 22:42). But that should not be an excuse to shrink back from practicing sound theology in your life.

For example, in my particular parenting case, it would be theologically unloving not to discipline my children lovingly when they need corrective care. Are there times in your life when your feelings about a matter cancel out your biblical obedience?

Let me give you another example: I do not enjoy hearing myself speak. I have said that I would not walk across the street to hear me teach. Perhaps you’ve heard yourself on a recording and had similar feelings.

In those moments of angst about myself, I could choose never to teach again. That would be unwise and counter to the Christian mandate to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:16-20). If I opted to be self-centered, I would disobey God by not telling others about the glories of Calvary.

Call to Action

Are there areas in your life where you need to be more obedient about a matter than emotional about it? Name one of those things. Here are a few examples for your consideration:

  1. Confessing your sin to another person when you don’t feel motivated to do so?
  2. Forgiving someone who has sinned against you when you feel you are right and he is dead wrong?
  3. Caving to people-pleasing rather than taking a stand for God because you know taking a stand will have repercussions?
  4. Refusing to tell someone about the “foolish” Christ (1 Corinthians 1:18) because you’re afraid of how they may respond to you?

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