March 2, 2009

Feeling (not thinking) that I'm inadequate

I've read too few books this school year- my mom didn't assign any Literature this year, and I've been too busy to read much. I'm continually getting music, poetry, or book (or debate applications!) recommendations from others, and I feel so pitiful because I have nothing of my own to offer or share.

Reasoning about it makes me acknowledge that my inadequacy is not as extreme as I feel it is. Still, I've got to cling to the sufficiency of Christ. My ultimate goal is not the cultured life- it is the godly life. I need to gain God's approval first. But please, can't I have yours too?

The question this brings up is not whether or not I'm good enough. Rather, I wonder, is it beneficial to honestly tell that you feel something that you think is untrue? Why don't reason and emotion always align?


Michael said...

"My ultimate goal is not the cultured life- it is the godly life." :D

"Why don't reason and emotion always align?"
I often wonder that myself...why don't they? I usually give up on that question and just follow my reasoning.
Oh...and reasoning tells me that the "reason" they don't line up is because both your emotions and Reason can lie to you. Reason by neglecting some of the facts, and your emotions because those are guided by what you want. When your truest desire is to follow Christ, your emotions align themselves with that, when your desire is to read a lot of books then that is what will guide your emotions. We are slaves of what we want. Though this answer is a bit simplistic...because our desires conflict with one another, which can cause mixed emotions. It's even possible, I'd say, to actually feel the effects of a lesser desire stronger than those of a greater desire.

In my humble opinion, you're on the right track. Your goal is to serve God, and a secondary and worthy goal is to be well read, (or well listened) but only if that is what God wants for you. Some men were chosen by God to be farmers, some to be intellectuals, some to be engineers etc. etc. Just because the farmer doesn't know what Socrates thought about the world doesn't mean that he is not fulfilling his purpose in life. In the same way, just because the intellectual doesn't know how to get his hands in the mud, or understand the love that the farmer has for the earth doesn't mean he is not upright, or sustained by God. If you are meant to be "cultured" then God will make you cultured, but the other option is not in the least a "lesser" or "worse" option.


Daughter of the King said...

Why don't reason and emotion align? I think it's because they each only see a part of the picture.

When you have a puzzle you often have many different pieces, but only certain pieces are meant to fit together. Emotion and reason both play a part in the big picture, but that doesn't mean that they complete the puzzle. While they may not go together like a hand and a glove, they are not contradictory, just a small part of something great. Emotion and reason are both good things in that God gave them to us for descision making. But to rely on one, or even both, when there are so many other pieces is not only a mistake, but will leave us feeling and thinking that we are inadequate.

Hayley said...

First, I would contend that you're more cultured than most - you have me like forty excellent books recommendations last fall that I have only just started to work my way through. But eh-neh-wheys.

It might be because I'm a feeler (I think I just blame everything I don't understand on that facet of my personality! Fail!) but I'm rarely troubled by discrepancies between what I think and what I feel. Therefore, I've never felt the /necessity/ for emotion and reason not to conflict, never felt that they were supposed to align.

Are they supposed to align? Is the conflict real or merely perceived? Is it necessary to feel one way and think another for a balanced life? (I.e. I know I'm a sinner, but I feel made whole.) And of course, your big one, is it beneficial to honestly tell that you feel something that you think is untrue? I can't offer any answers, only more questions, but I think (and feel?) that's okay.

I am going to see you tomorrow. Is that not off the hook or what?!

Art said...

Perhaps (to use a lame debate analogy) reason and emotion are like idealism and pragmatism: two different and sometimes conflicting ways of making decisions. Both are philosophies that we try to make from what we know, but Truth is a philosophy that dictates what we know. We're just looking at the picture from the side opposite of God's perspective.

Good questions, Hayley. Even if reason and emotion DO align, will we be looking at Truth? If something is logically right, will our hearts eventually follow?