I feel like a horrible person. I used to be compassionate and caring and now I feel horrible and selfish. I just don’t feel anything right now about anything and it is so scary. I feel guilt but I don’t know what for because everything is wrong and everything I am is wrong and I’ve been praying and I have faith God will stir something in me, but right now I feel exhausted and pathetic and I’m having doubts and horrible thoughts I can’t control. Do you have any advice? Thank you
Hey my dear wonderful honest friend —
You might be surprised if you knew how many people felt this way too. Including me sometimes.
I think the devil’s biggest lie is to make you think that how you feel right now is how you will always feel forever.
Sometimes we forget that our mood, our bodies, and a bad slice of pizza can completely alter our perception, and we think a bad day means a bad life. We tend to cram a lifetime of anxieties into one singular moment, when really it’s just barely 0.05% of your lifespan that has flashed by you.
I’m totally not making light of what’s happening. I’m sure there is a circumstance you didn’t share, maybe an addiction you’re struggling with, a relationship going upside-down, maybe a family issue (because family is always an issue). And even if there wasn’t, you’re allowed to feel your feelings, because you’re human.
But please do not allow your mood to determine your entire value as a person. We get tired. We get cranky. We have doubts, frustrations, questions. And Jesus welcomes you graciously, the exhausted cranky doubtful you, and he will give you rest for your weary bones.
You might think there’s some kind of “awesome version” of you hidden inside your skin, and maybe you feel like you’re always two steps behind trying to catch up to some experienced mature mold of you — but Jesus loves you, right now, unconditionally. It’s only this kind of pure love that will ever penetrate deep enough to actually bring about change in your heart, and even then, we must not be so hard on ourselves in this journey.
Please also do NOT evaluate your current spiritual life against your old one. Any time a preacher asks, “Was there ever a time you were more spiritually high than today? Praying more than today? On fire more than today?” — that answer is inevitably yes. I’ve never ever heard someone say, “Yeah I finally got that prayer thing locked down bro.”
It’s a trick question. The first part of our spiritual lives is always more exciting because of the first-round electricity, and we view our past with hyped-up nostalgia. It’s nice to get laughter and lessons from your past, but you can’t use it as a sustainable motivation. Be free of that guilt, because it’s going nowhere good.
Believe me: the seasons change. Feelings fade. Life goes on. Endure the late-night twitch and don’t beat yourself up. Let go of harsh self-evaluation. No matter how you feel, be kind and pray anyway. The same grace that you show others: have some grace for yourself too. And before you know it, you will be further along down this path without even hardly trying. The moment you quit trying to improve and simply rest in Christ, you’ll move forward.
Love you, my friend. So does He.
10 thoughts on “Question: My Feelings and Lack of Feelings Are Killing Me”
It is so easy and so hard. We do “through Christ” and find peace and deep joy. We do ourselves and, being human, we fall and fail and think God didn’t really mean it when the Bible says “God loved the world so much…” (John 3:16). You are so right on with this. If it is any value, I keep saying to myself, “I am not God. I follow.” I always want to fix things for me and others right away. I also have to remind myself that God has forever to get it done, whatever “it” is.
Yes. I meet plenty of Christians who get disillusioned quickly when all along they’ve been doing it in their own strength, rather than connected with God at all. There’s a lot of anger and despair there, and I don’t have the heart to say, “You sort of brought this on yourself.” But I don’t think God would tell them that either; He’s still offering grace.
This is really good JS. Our Christian lives are full of Green Pastures and Valleys of the Shadow of Death. Jesus is God in both but in the first its much easier to see and feel. It’s still true when the feelings of it are obscured by life’s darker points but it is in those places we lear to walk by the faith which defies our feelings.
You said it exactly right. Psalm 23, right on.
“I think the devil’s biggest lie is to make you think that how you feel right now is how you will always feel forever.” This is one important truth it took me a long time to learn.
Every time I feel down and discouraged I remind myself that I’ll feel better tomorrow, or the day after, or in a week. Feelings fade, especially when we turn to God’s Word to encourage us and maybe to friends and family to support us and help us out. We should never allow them to keep us down in the dumps forever. Great post!
“His mercies are new every morning,” right?
I think emotions are quite important, but can’t be everything, as you said.
I’m not the one who sent this question, but this is so me right now and the past several months of where I am. Thank you for this reminder, JS..
Throwing you a prayer, my friend.