Anxious, scared, happy, content, liked, hurt, fearful, hopeful, encouraged…
…each one a real emotion that everyone feels from time to time.
My husband and I like to say to each other, “Facts over feelings!” And although that may be a good way of dealing with situations, feelings are still a big part of who we are.
Feelings come from a variety of sources. Circumstances bring about feelings. When we get sick, sometimes the feelings of sadness or loneliness may come. If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know full well about those sudden influxes of emotions! People also bring about feelings. But have you ever considered this question:
“How do I make people feel?”
Ever heard the statement, “If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy”? This goes beyond just moms. Each one of us has the power to make someone else feel a certain emotion, and if we consider the “golden rule” of loving your neighbor as yourself, then it becomes needful to be aware of how we make other people feel. We can make those around us feel uncomfortable or comfortable, liked or disliked, enriched or disgusted.
What about that feeling of walking on eggshells? Not fun! We all know certain people who make us feel accepted and loved no matter what. And conversely, there are others who make us feel inferior, like everything we say and do is just not good enough. Whether those feelings are our misinterpretation of them or not, the feelings are still there.
I’ve experienced this personally many times, especially when working with teen girls. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how hard I try to make them feel loved by me, they still “feel” uneasy or nervous. Whether those feelings are based in fact or not, I still need to be aware of how I make them feel. I must keep trying to show them that I do in fact love them!
We may not be able to always control how people feel around us, but we can certainly try to find how that individual personally interprets love (i.e. find their love language).
Before we can change, we must first evaluate.
How do YOU make people feel when they are around YOU?
Do people feel they can open up and share themselves or do they feel in constant danger of somehow offending you?
Do they feel tight-lipped and careful to not say the “wrong” thing?
Do they feel like you value their input or do you make them feel ignorant or uneducated?
Do they feel like they are a bother or an annoyance to you?
These are questions we all should really consider. If we create feelings of discomfort, dislike, or uneasiness in people, we’ll have a really hard time showing them the love of Christ. We won’t be able to encourage them to live for Christ, and we won’t experience true Christian fellowship. People need to clearly know by both our words AND our actions that they are accepted and, above all, loved.
What do you think? Leave a comment…
- Tell us of some ways people make you “feel” (good or bad).
- Share some things you’ve done to make others feel accepted and loved.
- What are some practical ways we can work on making others “feel” loved?
Comments can also be made anonymously if that makes you “feel” more comfortable 🙂
Jackie had the privilege of being raised in a pastor’s home where she was personally mentored by her mother. She has a passion for teaching and encouraging young ladies throughout their teenage years.
She and her husband, Chris, serve the Lord together at LVBC and currently have four children, Robby, Lauren, Daniel and Matthew.