The bumper sticker on the blue van caught my attention:
CHOOSE TO FEEL
As I considered those words, I noticed the billboards I was passing. They urged me to choose things that would keep me from feeling—alcohol to deaden emotional pain; fat-laden food to alleviate feelings of emptiness; luxury cars and other expensive items to lessen feelings of worthlessness.
Many of the temptations that lure us away from God do so by promising to relieve the emotional hurt we all feel because of the consequences of sin—our own sin or someone else’s.
God set a different example. Instead of becoming numb to the pain our sin causes, He chose to suffer the results of it. Through the prophet Hosea, God expressed the heart-wrenching pain of losing a wayward child. “I stooped and fed them,” He said tenderly. “I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love” (11:3-4). Still they rejected their heavenly Father. Reluctantly, He let them face the consequences.
When we choose to feel the full range of our emotions, we come to a fuller understanding of the God who created us in His image—the image of One who feels.
It’s okay to feel that all is not right in the world. God feels that way too!
God knows each winding way I take,
And every sorrow, pain, and ache;
His children He will not forsake—
He knows and loves His own. —Bosch
Choosing to deaden bad feelings eventually deadens our ability to feel good.