The Voicemail That Launched 1000 Feelings

Last week, I received an interesting voicemail. The caller told me her name and said she was looking at my ad. And then…

“…I’m a Bible believer, and I hope you know this, in America we have freedom of religion.”

I’m happy to report:  I was indeed aware of this fact.

She continued, “And we don’t believe that the Bible teaches that we should look at our feelings and motives, but at the knowledge of truth.”

She went on to tell me that I’m living in sin, and I’m helping people to sin against Jesus Christ and his word. And then finished her message by reminding me, “We are a different religion in America. We have freedom. And please don’t make us think we have to feel ashamed. We know better. We have the knowledge of truth. Our feelings don’t matter. We live by the truth. The Lord bless you in Jesus. Amen.”

I found her message to be quite stimulating. To begin, I’d like to call her back, assure her that I am an American and explain:  “Freedom of Religion does not mean everyone believes what you do.”

And yeah… of course she thinks I’m living in sin because I’m an advocate for divorce. I’ve heard that one before. However, this is the first time a stranger has called me to deliver such news.

The most fascinating aspect of her message was what she said about feelings. Feelings don’t matter? Christians aren’t supposed to pay attention to their feelings? I feel confused. What about love, and all the feelings that go along with living a kind, compassionate, giving, helpful, loving existence? I was under the impression that those things were important.

(Then again… I guess this is why there are tens of thousands of different denominations of Christianity)

Her comment caused me to recall how I felt during my marriage. The anger and resentment… the loneliness… the numbness and depression. During that time of my life, those feelings were my truth. They clouded ever corner of my reality, and there was no escaping them. They mattered. In some ways, they were a matter of life and death.

I know now that those emotions weren’t Me. I understand that I could’ve meditated my way out of them. Yet, I couldn’t have spent all of my time in meditation. My marriage wasn’t a healthy environment for either me or my husband. Our feelings were there to tell us that something was wrong. When the status of our partnership changed, our feelings toward each other improved. And, our lives overall improved.

That’s progress, right? I think so.

Looking back at my marriage, I’m grateful I hadn’t been influenced by anyone quite like the woman who called me last week. I’m also saddened for all those who feel as I did, yet think as she does.

 

 

 

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