Hearing God’s Word–Believe It

I’m reading a book that tries to figure out why some people survive and others die in life-threatening situations. His basic premise is that emotions rule our intellect.

As an example he refers to scuba divers found dead with their air masks off but air in their tanks. This happens frequently. When people panic and can’t  breath, emotional experiences in the past tell them to rip off things that cover their mouths.

This is normally good, but not when the thing covering your mouth is an air mask and you’re in water. Everyone knows you can’t breath underwater, but emotions overpower logic.

The key to surviving these life-threatening situations is to overpower emotion with what you know. Unfortunately, in crunch time, your emotions are strong, leading to this sentence, “We think we believe what we know, but we only truly believe what we feel.”

Emotional experiences concretize our beliefs. That’s why people think household remedies work–my emotions tell me they do, and for me, it worked, I felt better, so I believe orange juice in abundance cures sore throats.

Doctrinal beliefs are no different. We gravitate toward doctrines that solved emotional issues for us. It matters little if the Bible actually says it, it only matters if I feel it matters.

We gravitate toward the feeling we got when our mentor told us “the key” to solving an emotionally taxing dilemma. We stick with his answer no matter how many people point out its error.

This is a dangerous thing. It can be life-threatening in survival situations. It may also be eternally life threatening when emotional beliefs trump God’s Word.

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