Friday, October 14, 2016

The power of feelings (Dallas Willard)

This is how Dallas Willard begins Chapter 7 "Transforming the Mind: Spiritual Formation and Our Feelings" of Renovation of the Heart.

Feelings are a primary blessing and a primary problem for human life. We cannot life without them and we can hardly live with them. Hence they are also central for spiritual formation in the Christian tradition. In the restoration of the individual to God, feelings too must be renovated: old ones removed in many cases, or at least thoroughly modified, and new ones installed or at least heightened into a new prominence.
Our first inquiry as we greet people for the day is likely to be, "How are you feeling today?" Rarely will it be, "How are you thinking?" Feelings live on the front row of our lives like unruly children clamoring for attention. They presume on their justification in being whatever they are—unlike a thought, which by nature is open to challenge and invites the question "Why?"  

Further on Willard states: "Feelings are, with a few exceptions, good servants. But they are disastrous masters." The aim of this chapter will be to show us how we can master our feelings in the service of transformation into Christlikeness. And not just master, but more importantly, replace wrong feelings with the right ones.

No comments: