“…be prepared in season and out of season…”
2 Timothy 4:2 (NIV)
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)
The Lord has given us both feelings to connect emotionally with people and minds with which to think. Some people seem to be only one or the other. Either their feelings rule or their minds are solely in charge. Clearly there is danger in either position. For example, if my feelings ruled my head I would never get out of bed in the morning. When I first wake up I “feel” like I should sleep a little longer. Not to worry, I always get up and going at an appropriate time of the morning! However, when I have a difficult visit to make my negative feelings try to prevent me from going.
On the other hand I am able to weep with those who weep once I am with them. I often shed a tear with people as they recount their pain and suffering. Actually we are called on in Romans 12:15 (NIV) to
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”
So emotions are to be used in ministering to others. People need the comfort of knowing you can feel their hurt and pain. Your tears are the proof of your bearing their burden Galatians 6:2 (NIV)
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Like Jesus, we should go to weddings (John 2) and be happy with others in their times of joyfulness. Then, again like Jesus, we are to weep with those who are in sorrow (John 11:35). Of course, most of us find the joyful situations preferable. It seems like we are all programmed to gravitate toward the happy situations in life and avoid the sad ones. For example widows often find that as soon as the funeral is over their friends fade away and they are no longer invited to social events.
Our verses today are calling on us to be ready to engage in all situations in life at any time. You should never say to yourself, “I don’t feel like doing this or that today so I will do it tomorrow.” Our emotions should not prevent us from doing good regardless of how difficult the issue.
The next time you say to yourself, “I don’t feel like doing that.”, stop and consider if you are letting your emotions prevent you from doing the good the Lord expects of you. Be ready in all situations to do the right thing regardless of how unpleasant it may be.
Doing the right thing without considering the cost is the way of Christ. Jesus did not let the expense of redeeming us stop Him from entering His own creation, submitting to His own laws, enduring the opposition of sinners, and even enduring the cross and its horrible agonies just because of His love for us. If necessary, stop letting your emotions rule and use your God given intelligence to do what is right and the Lord will bless you for it. He will give you grace to persevere regardless of the personal cost. “I don’t feel like it” is not to control us anymore. When the going gets tough make sure your mind rules your feelings.