It’s a problem for teens, adults, children … everyone. We want what makes us FEEL good. Plain and simple. We’re driven by our feelings. We don’t like pain and discomfort. We crave what feels good and makes us happy.
This gets us into all kinds of trouble because short term gratification often means long term problems. Examples are numerous. The sexual escapade that leads to pregnancy and the responsibility for another human life … forever. The extra drink that impedes driving and ends a life … forever. The flight to Vegas with the rebel your parents hate to enter a marriage full of conflict … forever (not even divorce can erase it). The extra piece of cake that goes to your waist … forever (or at least it seems like it).
There’s wisdom in not just going with our feelings all the time. There’s wisdom in listening to someone who knows better. There’s ultimate wisdom in going with the one with ultimate authority; the One who created us; the One who loves us; the One true God … Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It might not always feel good to do things God’s way. In fact, I can guarantee it WON’T always feel good since we will have to say NO to our sinful, selfish desires. But, making the hard decision to do things God’s way has lasting benefits that far outweigh temporary good feelings. Most of all, there’s the issue of where we’ll live out the rest of our life … forever. It’s not doing the right thing that will get us to heaven. But, doing things God’s way keeps our ears and our hearts open to hearing EVERYTHING He has to say, including his Words of free forgiveness for all the times we foolishly give in to our sinful feelings. If we get in a habit of ignoring God and listening to our feelings instead, we can easily grow deaf to His words of forgiveness and life as well.
If you really love someone (including the person in the mirror), have the courage to point them beyond what feels good now. Point them to the God who often says, “Stop doing that!” Point them to the God who always says, “I love you and forgive you for Jesus’ sake.” They may not like you today, but they may just learn to love you down the road. That’s part of living life in God’s way.