I drive a bus, on a part-time basis in the City of Chicago. On Friday, I received a lay-off notice from The Chicago Transit Authority
Later that same day, I ran into a man, a fellow bus driver, in the CTA garage. We engaged in small talk and the conversation turned to the lay-off notice I received in the mail earlier in that day. I told him that it was on my mind (I kept my upset feelings to myself).
He told me that I simply needed to disregard the letter. He proceeded to “talk at me”.
Ever have someone “talk at you”? He may have been well intended and even sincere, but he was preaching at me and was nearly angry as he spoke. Maybe I am overly sensitive, but I really sensed this. He spoke AT me and interrupted me. He offered me very little help that I could apply and did not take any time to understand where I was coming from.
Jesus, for whom Christianity is named, when he encountered people, he began where they were. Jesus did this by engaging in conversation, give and take, back and forth communications.
The greater point is this; I need to know what I believe and what I need. I believe in Jesus, in His Sovereignty and in His sufficiency. I know He is sufficient to meet all my needs, which include my emotional needs. I do not deny my feelings, I know that the letter upset me and rightfully so. It was upsetting news. I also have learned about myself and that my feelings are my feelings and that if I deny my feelings (which is what he was encouraging me to do), my feelings will come out in unhealthy and unconstructive way. As a younger person, I learned to deny stuff and run away from my feelings. I was taught that I needed not to be governed by my feelings and I agree with that premise. What I disagree with is how to do this. I need to take my feelings, in this case, my upset feelings over the letter and bring those to the Lord and allow him to minister to me. He did, in this case; He has done it before for me and I believe He will do it for me again.
I believe this is Biblical and I know this is the best way to deal with my feelings. (Ps 4:4, Rev 21:4, 1Pet 5: 7, Mt 11:28,29.