Choices are more powerful than feelings, and Jesus demonstrates this when teaching His disciples.
The Gospel of Luke records Jesus discussing the cost of discipleship (see Luke 14:25-33). If you read any of the Gospels carefully, you will see that Jesus never sought half-hearted followers. Instead, He was—and is—looking for those totally committed and fully given to His purposes and plans.
Emotions often determine and drive decisions and actions. The result? People make commitments they don't intend to keep.
Because this is something we have all done at one time or another, it is crucial to know that we can overcome our feelings with faith rooted in the truth.
Jesus Illustrates Why We Should Overcome Emotionalism
1. Don't build a tower you don't have enough money to finish. That is not faith; that is presumption. Presumption is usually rooted in selfish ambition. We should not make decisions based out of ambition because the decisions will always be unrealistic. The emotion of ambition will not lead you into a decision: It will lead you into a disaster. The fruit of that disaster will be shame. Don't let ambition decide your trajectory. Instead, let faith determine your capacity and integrity chart your course.
In Luke 14:28-31, Jesus says: "For who among you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost to see whether he has resources to complete it? Otherwise, perhaps, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to complete it, all who see it will begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to complete it.'"
2. Don't wage a war you can't win. Anger entices people to start fights they can't win. We need to check ourselves before we make a decision from a place of anger. Anger will cause you to get into things you may not walk away from.
In Luke 14:31-33, Jesus further says, "Or what king, going to wage war against another king, does not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Otherwise, while the other is yet at a distance, he sends a delegation and requests conditions of peace. So likewise, any of you who does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple."
To make it clear, we need to count the cost of our commitments before we make them. It is critical that we don't make decisions or commitments based on emotions when we haven't first counted the cost. Ambition and anger can cause us to commit to building something we cannot finish or fighting a battle we cannot win. Counting the cost is what prepares us to pay the price, similar to stretching before exercise. When we prepare ourselves, we are actually positioning ourselves to succeed.
This article originally appeared at adamlivecchi.com/overcoming-emotionalism.
Adam LiVecchi is the senior pastor of Rescue Church and the founder of We See Jesus Ministries. He is also the author of Go Preach Heal. You can find out more about the ministry and connect at weseejesusministries.com.
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