Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » James Meehan » James Meehan - Feelings: Real or Reliable?

James Meehan - Feelings: Real or Reliable?

  • Watch
  • Audio
  • Get involved
    James Meehan - Feelings: Real or Reliable?
TOPICS: Culture Makers, Feelings

Kaitlyn Caffery: Oh well, what's up culture makers. Today, we are answering a very big and very important question.

James Meehan: Ginormous.

Kaitlyn Caffery: The question is how do I let God lead me instead of my feelings?

James Meehan: Wonderful question.

Kaitlyn Caffery: True.

James Meehan: My son, Jace is 20 months old as of yesterday, but one of the things that he has recently become a big fan of is the TV show, Daniel Tiger. He got his first set of action figures the other day, a set of the characters from the show.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Amazing.

James Meehan: And when Daniel tiger, the lead character is feeling really frustrated. His mom sings a really wonderful song. And so this is gonna be my best mommy tiger impression.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Oh, I'm so excited.

James Meehan: Please be kind in the comments. This is what you do to make sure that it's God leading you and not your feelings. You ready?

Kaitlyn Caffery: Yep.

James Meehan: Hem "When you're feeling mad and you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to 4: 1, 2, 3, 4". There you go, that's it.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Thank you.

James Meehan: So, if you don't wanna be led by your feelings but instead wanna be led by God just remember

Kaitlyn Caffery: You sing that song.

James Meehan: Daniel tiger.

Kaitlyn Caffery: That's good.

James Meehan: Now, all jokes aside, I do actually think there's a lot of wisdom there. And what's interesting is it's a pretty cool reflection of what James, one of the apostles of brother of Jesus wrote in the New Testament. And James chapter one versus 19 and 20 he says, "My dear brothers and sisters", take note of this, "Everyone". That means you and me and probably especially Caitlin should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Yeah

James Meehan: Because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Come on.

James Meehan: Now, I want to take a moment to pause and say I think the wisdom of this verse applies to more emotions than just anger.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Yeah.

James Meehan: But I think, that's a, a pretty easy one to point to.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Mm.

James Meehan: But the truth is, is that we will wrestle with all sorts of different feelings and emotions that when they are used in the wrong way.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Right.

James Meehan: Do not produce the righteousness that God desires. They don't help build relationships. They don't make you more of who you want to be or who God wants you to be. And instead they can just create a whole lot of messiness and chaos. And so what we want to do as followers of Jesus is be able to think Christianly about everything.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Right.

James Meehan: Including our own emotions.

Kaitlyn Caffery: That's good.

James Meehan: And so, the big idea for you today is this is that your feelings are real but they aren't always reliable.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Mm dang. Okay, say more about that.

James Meehan: No.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Okay. If they're real, shouldn't I be able to kind of trust them.

James Meehan: You should. I'm sorry, okay? I got problems. So here's the thing that I think is so interesting is as human beings, we were all created in the image of God.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Yeah.

James Meehan: That means that we have the capacity for this thing called choice. Like we get to decide what we do and what we don't do.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Mm.

James Meehan: But there's this problem called sin that infects everything.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Right.

James Meehan: It affects every part of us and every part of the world to the point where now it's a lot harder to tell whether or not what we're feeling is actually true and good and life giving.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Mm.

James Meehan: And so there are times where some of our emotions that are actually meant for really good things.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Right.

James Meehan: Get distorted into negative things.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Okay, so if they don't always help me make wise informed decisions about what I'm gonna do in a particular situation what can help me make better decisions?

James Meehan: Yeah.

Kaitlyn Caffery: When I'm feeling emotions?

James Meehan: Yeah. I mean, I think Daniel tiger that song.

Kaitlyn Caffery: That can help.

James Meehan: When you find yourself in a situation where emotions are really high.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Yep.

James Meehan: Remember that, that is typically an indicator that wisdom's gonna be low.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Mm.

James Meehan: Because all of our bodies' mental energy is going towards the emotion.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Sure.

James Meehan: And it's not often being translated into wisdom.

Kaitlyn Caffery: That's good.

James Meehan: And so instead of acting in the moment what I would encourage you to do is the four Ps.

Kaitlyn Caffery: The four Ps.

James Meehan: Pause, pray, process, proceed.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Number one, pause.

James Meehan: Pause.

Kaitlyn Caffery: I like that a lot, because for me, when I am having a lot of emotions, it's important for me to stop and recognize what is actually in the driver's seat. Like if we wanna use the analogy of a car for how we kind of proceed through life, there is always something in the driver's seat. And for me, as a follower of Jesus, I wanna make sure that the thing that is leading and guiding my life is the Holy Spirit.

James Meehan: Right.

Kaitlyn Caffery: But in those moments where I'll have like a bunch of emotions going on.

James Meehan: Yeah, yeah.

Kaitlyn Caffery: It is usually like Hulk mode that's in the driver's seat.

James Meehan: That's good.

Kaitlyn Caffery: So, yeah, that anger verse is really powerful for me.

James Meehan: Yeah, who is it like the Mark Ruffalo, the Edward Norton.

Kaitlyn Caffery: Okay, I just watched the Edward Norton one again and the Hulk actually has one line in that whole movie and it is Hulk smash.

That's a good line.

That's it. Sometimes my emotions feel like that.

And that is a great reason why the first thing we should do is we should pause.


Pause long enough to make sure that what's driving us in this moment. Aren't unhelpful emotions.


But actually godly wisdom.

Yeah, that's good. And what's cool is you don't even just have to take our word for it. James said, "Be slow to speak".


"Be quick to listen, slow to become angry".


And mommy tiger says, "When you're feeling mad and you wanna roar take a deep breath and count to four, so pause and then... pray.

Prayer is one of those things that helps us kind of realign with like the fact that we actually can trust God more than we can trust our emotions

A hundred percent. And it's like a physical activity that we can put ourselves through to, to make sure that we're trusting the right thing.

Right, because I think when we take the time to pause long enough to pray. And go to God with the things that we're feeling. We're gonna discover that number one, he's really compassionate.

Yeah, that's good.

He cares about our emotions. He cares about every part of us and he's not just compassionate towards us but he's also really compassionate to the other people involved in the situation. And so when we go to him in prayer he's gonna help us sort out our emotions.


And he's gonna help us see the other people.


In whatever the situation might be in a way that's actually true.

That's good.

And then I think if we ask him for wisdom, he's gonna give it to us.


And so then we'll be able to think a little bit clearly as we move on the next thing, which is to process.


Specifically with other people that we trust. Because if all we ever do is listen to ourselves and what we think, then we might end up with a pretty narrow understanding.


Of how to move forward in a different situation. So you pause, you pray, you process with people you trust. And then after that we proceed, we take the next right step. Based off of the wisdom that we've gained in this, you know, collection of steps that we've taken.

To make sure that what's actually leading us isn't our feelings but it's actually, God.

That's so good. And I think, I think the step in that process that I've been learning the most about recently is the processing peace. 'Cause it is pretty easy for me to go through the like you know, I identify what it is, it's in the driver's seat. I pray through it and then I'm like, "Okay, we're done".

Yeah, yeah.

But actually, I've been finding that when I tried to like ignore or suppress my emotions they are still actually leading me somewhere.

That I don't really wanna go.


Because I'm like harboring this tension inside of me or building up my case in my mind for why it's justifiable that I feel a certain way.


But when I actually get it out in the context of my small group or like my life group or with somebody that I trust in my life, it's like, "Okay, now I can actually just move on from this".

Come on.

And with that being said, we are gonna transition to what's happening in the world around us. You might have some emotions to process through after this conversation.

Yeah 'cause there's some stuff happening.

There is some stuff happening.

This first one makes me angry, continue.

Uh-oh, there was a trailer that was released for the new star wars series, Andor. Did you watch that trailer?

No! I'm angry!

Hold on, we gotta sing the song.

I am just not stoked.


About the way Disney has been doing Marvel and star wars dirty over the last couple of years. Because until I hear that it's really good and worth watching I just don't even wanna get my hopes up because I'm tired of being disappointed.

Mm, did you like Rogue One?

I did, I loved Rogue One.

Yeah, I thought that was money. Anyways, I hope this show is not terrible.


But this is the problem.


Is what they're doing is what they keep doing where they take something I love.


Expand upon it and ruin the thing that I love.

Yeah, guys, sometimes

Count four.

You just let it be

Count four.

Just let it be.

"Let it be".

It's good enough.

"Speaking words of wisdom".

This is a very musical episode.

Yeah, I gotta be careful though, 'cause that stuff will get copyright struck real quick.

Speaking of, speaking of which Miley Cyrus is getting sued...

Lord have mercy.

For copyright infringement.


Because a paparazzi took a photo of her. Then she posted that photo on her Instagram without said photographer's permission. So she is entering into a lawsuit.


Because of that.

The best part about this whole situation is that somebody took a picture of her without permission that she then posted and now she's getting sued for. If you're anything like me, you're hearing that and you're thinking, "Wow, that sounds really broken". And I would say, "You're probably right". I think that's to me even more evidence.


That just everybody in this world is a little bit messed up and we all need Jesus.

We all need some Jesus. And so what I wanna try to train myself to do. Is to not be upset or bitter towards any of the people involved, but just pause.

That's good

Pray for them.

That's good.

Process the emotions that I'm feeling.

That's good.

And figure out how can I proceed in a way that's actually loving to God and loving to others. Because in these situations I'm not gonna lie. It's easier for me to just get annoyed and upset and just like, "Oh, these people these days". I feel like the old man, "Get off my lawn".

"Get off"

"Turn those lights off".

"Get off the internet people".

Okay, but this last thing that we're gonna talk about is actually really important. And I think one of the things that are, is really important to apply those four Ps to.


September is actually national suicide prevention month. And social media on social media, TikTok, Instagram we've got a lot of people sharing their struggles in their stories.


With suicidal thoughts and things like that. And I'm pretty sure Jesus has a lot of wisdom for us in this area because this is something that is so real


And so hard.


But we wanna help you guys process through that with a lot of wisdom and a lot of grace and a lot of compassion.

In the description to this video we're actually gonna play some links yeah. To some different sites and organizations and resources that will be helpful for you if you know somebody who is struggling with suicidal thoughts or you yourself are struggling with suicidal thoughts because being trapped in that can feel totally overwhelming and paralyzing. And so we want you to know that there is help.


That there is hope.

Come on.

That we are with you.


And God is with you. And for those of us who are followers of Jesus we want to be just brutally honest that we are not immune.


To some of these thoughts and struggles. We're human just like anybody else. And for those of who are followers of Jesus we have a responsibility to reach out, to love and to care for our friends and family that might be struggling with these things. And so we've gotta be knowledgeable enough that we can help point them in the right direction if they do come to us asking for help. And we've gotta be knowledgeable enough to identify the signs.


That maybe there's something more going on that they're not yet willing to share with us. So that we can have eyes open to see what God wants us to see in those moments. And so for you as you are going about your day and your week and the rest of this month. Man, have the eyes to see.

Yeah, that's good.

Whatever it is that God wants to show you. Now it's important to acknowledge that if we are just caught up in our own emotions of anger, fear, frustration, whatever that might be. It's gonna be really hard to see what other people are going through.

That's so true.

And so, we've gotta be able to do the work of sifting through our own emotions so that we can help other people navigate theirs because these thoughts and these feelings that drive people to the edge thinking that the best choices to end their own life. Those feelings are real but they are not reliable because there's a God who loves you, who has so much good for you. And if you are willing to join in with what he's doing to be a part of a community of other people that see the best in you and wanna bring the best out of you then I promise you, you can find hope too.

Yeah, so we just wanna challenge you guys this week to actually work through those four Ps. I want you to pause, pray, process and proceed. And like for me, the thing that I'm working on right now is processing with people that I trust. If there's one of those that I don't know is easier for you to get hung up on, go ahead and identify it and really intentionally practice that this week. Because just like James said, when we've got all of our own stuff going on, it is really hard to see clearly what other people are dealing with and feeling. So just to connect the dots if you are someone who is currently struggling with suicidal thoughts, or if you know somebody who is we would encourage you to practice those same four things. Pause, pray, process and proceed. Because just like James said, there are P, there is hope and there is help and there is healing. Sometimes we just have to stand still long enough to realize that we aren't actually in it alone.

Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you so much for joining us on today's episode of Culture Makers. Just one last reminder, there's some resources in the description below. If you haven't yet already make sure to like the video, comment and let us know what stuck out most to you. What the, of those four Ps.


Which one you need to work on and then any questions that we can help you answer moving forward. See, y'all

See you next time.
Are you Human?:*