1

During a sermon, the pastor said something about how grateful we should be that God’s love is so great that he would die for us. He talked more about how much God loved us to even come back for us (in the case of Thomas the disciple) to ensure that we would know the truth, no matter how doubting we are. I know that i should be grateful and feel closer to God, I don’t really feel anything. When people are praying over me, I tend to zone out or know that I should be asking for these things, but I don’t feel a deep conviction that I’m getting closer to God or that I can do anything about it. I want to deepen my journey with God but I feel like no matter how much I pray my heart hasn’t really met God on a personal level.

9

3 Answers 3

0

One thing that I think is important, is that Christianity and being a Christian is not all about feeling. If you rely on emotional highs to fuel your Christian journey you will likely not go very far. Sometimes the Christian journey is not characterized by feelings of gratefulness to God, e.g. Job was certainly not feeling that way during his tribulations, however, in the end he came through it. You don't have to be going through great trials to feel this way however. Your status as a Christian is based on your faith, and not how you feel about things moment to moment. Not everyone's faith is expressed in the same manner, however, that makes it no less a Christian faith. As a personal example, I often do not express my faith in the touchy feely overly anthropomorphic fashion that many Christians do, in fact, I kind of get queasy at the thought, and the prayers of some Christians are just kind of annoying and I generally abstain from letting just anyone "pray over me". This is ok, if you feel you need to tell some people that you would rather not have their supplications, that is ok; you are not obliged per Christian duty to indulge everyone's wish to help you. At the same time, do not neglect to take strength in your fellow Christians, that would be a terrible waste of resource!

You should hate sin on principle, however, this does not mean that you will always feel so great about abstaining from it. People who tell you this are most likely not being honest with themselves. Thats why sin is tempting, if it were not, then everyone would be a saint by default. Sin tends to look like a delicious piece of fruit that you just can't resist, while doing right often seems drab and unappetizing, however, sin is ultimately based on lies; it has the appearance of the good but is only a false caricature of the good that will lead to unhappiness and perversion of the soul. To some extent, doing right is a cross to bear, Christ bore his.

Faith develops in stages and if you are going to go from a sapling to a giant and primordial oak, then you have to first make it through the drought. Stay steadfast in the faith, and I assure you that you will not have to look for God, God will come to you!

0

There are many possible reasons for what you describe. Here is one, from Luke 7:

36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”

“Tell me, teacher,” he said.

41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”

“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

From the account in Luke we can derive three things that are necessary:

  1. You must know you are a sinner to such an extent that you understand the wrath that you deserve for all that you have done in your life.
  2. You must repent of your sins.
  3. You must have faith that Jesus, by his death on the cross, paid for your sins, God the Father accepts this payment for your sins, and you are therefore forgiven this great debt.

The sinful woman in the story knows how great is the forgiveness she has been shown and her emotions and actions follow along.

The above is the negative aspect. There is a positive aspect: the gift of eternal life and promise of spending it in Heaven (or on a renewed earth, as opinions differ). That is as much of a positive as the release from debt is negative.

I suffered for a decade from depression. This includes four to five years of the period after I became a Christian. I sought professional counseling and it was helpful. I also participated in the helping ministries of the church. When you give to others in need, then just like the woman in the story, you are also giving to Jesus. This act of sacrifice completes the work begun in your mind (accepting the truth) and heart (cherishing and rejoicing in this truth) by engaging your hands in habits of service (living out the truth).

After a few years of dedicated service, my emotions were finally freed and I was able to experience the joy of salvation. I believe that when you give from your hands to another, that leaves your hands empty. Those empty hands are then freed to receive from God many things, some of them being lightness of heart, peace and contentment.

0

Don’t conflate feelings with faith. You can love God without being in love with God. Remember that the many parts of the body each serve their own unique purpose. I’ve seen pastors who are so emotional about God that they cry in the midst of their sermon. There are people in the congregation who are the “wave your hands in the air” type of people. Ask them how they’re doing, and you get, “man, God is just so great. I’m really blessed,” etc.

I never could relate to those people. I don’t feel, emotionally, like they do. I’m very much like you. I don’t feel much of anything. And I did wonder, like you, why that is.

I ultimately concluded that it’s not what God made me for. He made me to teach. He made me a researcher. He made me a writer. Meanwhile, he made my friend George an uplifter. I teach him, and he encourages me. It’s symbiotic. Two parts of the body nourishing each other. I’ll tell him the complexities of various doctrines, show him scripture, teach him about Biblical history, etc., and you know what he does? He glazes over. I suspect there’s a part of him that wonders why he doesn’t have the drive to seek answers like I do, just as I wondered why I don’t feel as emotionally as he does.

Just remember that you’re where God put you, as God intended you to be. He didn’t call us all to have warm fuzzy feelings. We have a purpose.

So, the real question you have to ask is, what is it God intends for you and the strengths and talents he’s gifted you with? You want to deepen your journey? Discover that truth. Discern the purpose God has gifted you to fulfill and fulfill it. That you ask the questions you ask is proof enough of your sincerity and conviction. A man/woman can love God without feeling gushy. Love, in the Biblical sense, isn’t an emotion. It’s a choice. John says that we know we love God if we keep his commandments.

Find your purpose. Obey. That’s what loving God looks like.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .