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[Introduction] Living Beyond Your Feelings By Joyce Meyers

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It seems to me that we talk about how we feel more than practically anything
else. We feel good or bad, happy or sad, excited or discouraged, and a thousand
other things. The inventory of the various ways we feel is almost endless.
Feelings are ever changing, usually without notification. They don’t need our
permission to fluctuate; they merely seem to do as they please for no specific
reason that we can find. We have all experienced going to bed feeling just fine
physically and emotionally, only to wake up the next morning feeling tired and
irritable. Why? Why do I feel this way? we ask ourselves, and then we usually
begin to tell anyone who will listen how we feel. It is interesting to note that we
tend to talk a lot more about our negative feelings than we do our positive ones. If I wake up feeling energetic and excited about the day, I rarely announce it to everyone I come in contact with; however, if I feel tired and discouraged, I
want to tell everyone. It has taken me years to learn that talking about how I feel increases the intensity of those feelings. So it seems to me that we should keep quiet about the negative feelings and talk about the positive ones. As you read this book, I am going to ask you to make decisions; perhaps that can be the first decision you make. Write it down and confess it out loud:
Decision and confession: I am going to talk about my positive feelings so they
will increase, and keep quiet about my negative feelings so they lose their
strength. You can always tell God how you feel and ask for His help and strength, but talking about negative feelings just to be talking does no good at all. The Bible instructs us not to speak with idle (inoperative, nonworking) words (see Matt. 12:36). If negative feelings persist, asking for prayer or seeking advice is a good thing, but once again I want to stress that talking just to be talking is useless.

In a multitude of words transgression is not lacking, but he who restrains
his lips is prudent.
(Proverbs 10:19)

The main theme of this book is that although feelings can be very strong and
demanding, we do not have to let them rule our lives. We can learn to manage
our emotions rather than allowing them to manage us. This has been one of the
most important biblical truths I have learned in my journey with God. It has also been one that has allowed me to consistently enjoy my life. If we have to wait to see how we feel before we know if we can enjoy the day, then we are giving feelings control over us. But thankfully we have free will and can make decisions that are not based on feelings. If we are willing to make right choices regardless of how we feel, God will always be faithful to give us the strength to do so.
Living the good life that God has made ready for us is based on our being
obedient to His way of being and doing. He gives us the strength to do what is
right, but we are the ones who must choose it… God won’t do it for us. He helps us, but we must participate by choosing right over wrong. We can feel wrong and still choose to do what is right. Nobody can consistently enjoy life until they are willing to do that. For example, I may feel like shutting someone out of my life because they have hurt my feelings or treated me unfairly, but I can choose to pray for them and treat them as Jesus would while I am waiting for Him to
vindicate me. If I act according to my feelings, I will do the wrong thing and
forfeit peace and joy. But if I choose to do what God has instructed me to do in
His Word, I will have God’s reward in my life. Feelings in and of themselves are neither good nor evil. They are just
unstable and must be managed. They can be enjoyable and wonderful, but they
can also make us miserable and drive us to make choices we eventually regret.
Unbridled emotions might be compared to a small child who wants to have and
do everything, but does not understand the danger some of those things present.
The parent must control the child, or he will surely hurt himself and others. We
must parent our emotions. We must train them to serve us so we don’t become
their slave. If you are ready to master your emotions, this book is for you. I believe I will be able to help you understand some of your feelings, but understanding them is not nearly as important as controlling them. Make a decision that you will no longer let your feelings control you. If you are ready to master your emotions, this book is for you. I believe I will be able to help you understand some of your feelings, but understanding them is not nearly as important as controlling them.

This book could be one of the most important books you ever read. The principles in it agree with God’s Word and will put you in a position of authority rather than one of a slave. You can have victory rather than being a victim. You don’t have to wait to see how you feel every day before you know how you will act. I believe this book will help you understand yourself better than ever before and also equip you to make decisions that will release God’s best into your life.

Decision and confession: I choose to do what is right no matter how I feel.

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