Sometimes I ask myself this question. I know how I feel and I don’t like what I feel. I see the need to work on my feelings. You remember that the Psalmist asked himself this question – “Why are you in despair, O my soul, and why have you become disturbed within me?” (Ps. 42:5, 11; 43:5). But I ask myself this question not only when feeling blue, but when I begin to fear, when I have an unsettled sense about things, when something is bothering me, if I begin to think ill of someone, or other things.
Asking the question is the first step to managing our feelings. No one doubts the power of how we feel. With some people, the world turns on how they feel, but this is the ultimate in subjective living. Yet, as Borgman points out: “The emotions play a critical role in each person’s thinking and behavior.” But we cannot be controlled by subjectivity and how we feel, rather, we must bring our feelings and emotions into the realm of objectivity and life’s realities which are explained by God in His word.
The words feel and feeling(s) are only found 23 times in the Bible. But many other passages apply to our feelings, such as Proverbs 14:10. “The heart knows its own bitterness, and a stranger does not share its joy.” Proverbs is our resource for wisdom-living, and yet it does speak about how we feel. Prov. 14:10 is actually a strong affirmation of the broad range of feeling and human emotion which we regularly experience. But the point of 14:10 is that “the full gamut of emotions are known by the concerned person alone.” Two extremes are presented in this verse: bitterness and joy, in parallel: the heart knows and the stranger does not know. Sometimes, no one can know or share how we feel. They may not understand what we feel. Hence, they may not see, or they may see and say nothing. Furthermore, Prov. 14:13 indicates that feelings can be deceptive. One may laugh, but be in pain; one may be living merrily, but be headed for grief. So the ability to deal with our feelings is a great grace which God gives His people.
God alone ultimately knows the human heart. “One’s emotional-intellectual-religious-moral motions are too complex, too inward, and too individualistic to be experienced by others or even to represent them adequately to others (1 Cor. 2:11). The proverb infers the dignity and significance of each individual and, to accept being misunderstood, cautions against evaluating others by outward appearances and to be true to one’s own heart.”
Ask yourself why you feel angry, anxious, envious, jealous, intimidated, discouraged, depressed, hopeless, frustrated, or, proud of yourself, in complete control, to name a few. Then consider what God says and prayerfully ask God to help you with that feeling. Remember that “The manifestations of fallen emotions are nearly limitless. However, like many things in the Bible, not every emotion is either black or white……There are also issues of physiology, personality, and temperament that may not be inherently sinful….[but] allowing our emotions to cloud reality, to restrict what we believe or determine how we respond to truth, are…forms of emotional corruption.”
Sometimes, after I ask myself the question why I feel the way I do, I conclude that I should not feel that way. I shift my focus away from my feeling to the work at hand and take the attention off myself by concentrating on others. Proverbs 3:5b: “Do not lean on your own understanding.” This directly impacts our feelings, and often I find myself saying – Self, you shouldn’t be feeling this way since you claim to trust in God. I tell myself not to base so much on how I feel but on who God is. I remind myself that a life of wisdom in Christ (Col. 3:16; 2 Tim. 3:15) will help me not to be tyrannized by oft-troubling feelings.
 Brian S. Borgman, Faith & Feelings: Cultivating Godly Emotions in the Christian Life (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2009), 20
 Bruce K. Waltke, Proverbs 1-15 NICNT (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2004), 590.
 Ibid., 590.
 Borgman, Faith & Feelings, 53.