There is an incident that has happened recently causing so much division in the church body. I’m not going to talk about specifics, that’s not the point of this post really. But I do want to touch on something I’ve noticed, and a problem especially for women. A problem I, myself, want to continue to grow in and become better at with discernment.
Whenever we experience a teaching from someone or read an article or view a video (or anything related to social media especially), we have to be on guard regarding our emotions. The more sensitive we are the harder this can be.
Our sensitivities and emotions can dictate what we think is kind, nice, and gentle. Which means when we use our emotions to discern something – it’s possible we may make bad judgments because we are using our emotions and our particular sensitivities to discern – not contextual scripture.
(ESV) Proverbs 14:29, “Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.”
(ESV) Proverbs 17:27, “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.”
(ESV) Proverbs 10:19, “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”
Emotions can lead us to hasty judgments and quick words, if not controlled.
Problems When We Use Our Emotions To Discern
When we use our past experiences to tell us how to feel, there are a few issues that can come out of this:
- We read into a situation. We could make assumptions based on our previous experience that is not true for the particular issue.
- We struggle to see the proper context of a situation for what it is because of our preconceived judgments.
- We can be manipulated because we are vulnerable, and sadly, people will use our sensitivities, our past wounds, to get the reaction they want.
- Responding emotionally hinders us from responding logically. Our feelings are subjective and can blur how we look at objective truth.
False teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing will do this. They will gain your trust through manipulating your emotions. They will get you to trust them to the point you do not see their wrong. Most people do not know they are being brainwashed until it’s too late.
Some ways influencers can blind you:
1.) The influencer may have had a terrible experience happen to them (which is honestly awful, and I am sorry anyone has had to go through something terrible.) Unfortunately, they will then use their past painful experiences to draw others who are also wounded, vulnerable, and desiring to be understood. As you might imagine, many women are manipulated this way by both men and women.
2.) Listen to the message being presented – can you see if the speaker is trying to make you feel a particular way. Are your emotions being roused for good or bad? Do you feel complimented and empowered by words – that’s emotion. Do you feel angry about something – emotion. Are you upset about something – emotion.
Note: Emotion by itself isn’t bad. Sensitivity and emotions have a proper place. What is important is to see how an influencer uses emotion to sway or impact an audience.
When emotion is the focus, we might miss important details either being said or not being said because we are emotionally led. Wolves thrive on an emotionally led following because of how easy it is to manipulate – especially if the speaker has a particular motive.
3.) If anyone speaks out against this influencer – there might be a natural defense because of how the influencer has made us feel. Questioning teachers and influencers is Biblical, and it is a good thing Christians should do. Defending those who are sound in the faith is Biblical, as well.
Sometimes people question sound teachers because they want to reject the truth of God because they are deceived and protect instead the false teacher who gives words itching to the ears.
Sometimes people question false teachers or influencers because they are not being Christlike and they are not speaking the truth of Christ. – We should consider the accusations people raise and what does the Bible say regarding how we should handle those situations.
Upset At Those Manipulating The Wounded
Honestly, what has hurt me the most is seeing women who have gone through horrible situations and these influencers seem to pounce on it to get the reaction they want. And I can’t stand it. I feel so bad for these women who are already hurting and making emotional judgments because they have been hurt in the past. That’s not ok!
How dare you use women who have been manipulated and hurt in the past, who are already vulnerable, and you throw them a story you know will immediately bring up their emotions first before anything else. That’s not ok. That’s, ironically, not the loving thing to do. I see through your agenda, and I do not appreciate trying to appeal to my emotional weakness to make your point.
These influencers care more about their following, their “being right” more than they actually care about the truth, but they will use the truth to cloak their motives.
I’ve seen false teachers speak loving words to an audience just to make women cry because the influencer made the audience members feel “heard,” while all this time the wolf is feeding the flock for her own gain. (Men do this, too. In fact, I have a story about how a pastor manipulated my own feelings in an attempt to try to get me to desire the gift of tongues, which I denied. See: Someone Falsely Told Me A Word From God | Ladies Beware)
Be careful of preaching that honestly is just motivational speaking.
Be careful of individuals who just seem to go after others. Discernment miniseries absolutely have their place, but there is a lot of accountability that is involved. Look at motives. Do particular people seem to be the “targets”? Why? Sometimes people will repeatedly warn against false teachers for good reason, but other times… the reasons are petty and the person isn’t a false teacher.
If you happen to be someone, like me, who is sensitive and can be emotionally led at times, try to really consider your feelings. What is motivating you to feel a particular way? How does the Bible say we should feel or respond? Have we heard the full story before making a judgment call or are we being led by just one source?
Even when people sin against us, there is always a possibility that we may sow seeds of sin out of unrighteousness anger, bitterness, desire for revenge, etc.
These seeds of sin and emotion can affect how we view others and what we interpret from their words or potential lack of. Speaking as someone who sadly has read way too much into things that were not there.
Please examine yourselves and please be aware how influencers, wolves in sheep’s clothing, can use our own weaknesses against us for their twisted benefit. The truth may not be what we think it is, especially when our emotions are front and center making the judgment call.
Some resources I would like to recommend regarding emotionalism, emotional abuse, spiritual abuse, false teacher tactics:
- Inside Cup – Should We Use Our Emotions As Truth? | What Is Emotionalism?
- Got Questions – What Does The Bible Say About Emotional Abuse?
- Got Questions – What Is Spiritual Abuse?
- Got Questions – How Can I Recognize A False Teacher or False Prophet
- Allen Parr (The Beat) – Identify A False Teacher | 7 Signs from the book of Jude
- Tim Challies – 7 Sure Signs of a False Teacher
- Doreen Virtue & Susan Heck – Why Women’s Bible Studies Are Filled With False Teachers?
The Gospel Message– The Gospel message is good news, which means there’s bad news. We all are sinners and condemned. We all deserve the just punishment of God’s wrath. Christianity is unlike any other religion because we cannot earn our way into Heaven. God saw the weakness of man and his utter depravity. Yet, He showed us grace. Jesus, God, One Person of the Trinity, became God in the flesh, the God-Man. He was always perfect and sinless. And His humanity was perfected on the cross, living the full sinless life. He became our atonement sacrifice. Dying in our place, taking on the wrath of God upon Himself. He died on the cross, and He was resurrected because death could not hold Him. Jesus is the answer. We, as guilty sinners, need His blood to pay off our debt of sin. For all who put their faith in Him – meaning eyes are opened to the Gospel, we see ourselves as a sinner, we see the need for Christ, we desire our Savior, and we see the ugliness of our sin. Putting our faith in Jesus, we seek HIs forgiveness and repent from our sins, we turn away from our old way of life. We, through the work of the Holy Spirit, continue to become convicted of sin daily. Our eyes will never be the same again. We see things in a different light, and the truth of Christ affects how we live and serve Him. Christ tells us to count the cost. Salvation is a serious topic, it is not to be taken lightly. For a breakdown of this powerful message, understanding how Christ could be God and Man, why God required sacrifices, and more -please see: Why Did A Loving God Kill His Son? (Does God Hate?)
If you think you know the Gospel, check out these questions and see how prepared you are for the day someone might ask you why you believe: The Gospel Challenge (30 Question Quiz) – Are You Ready To Defend Your Faith?
Scripture To Meditate On – 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.“
Community Prayer –Community Prayer March ’22
Christian Topics/Series Covered
Personal Blog: Peeking Beneath
Second Blog: UnAshamed Christian Housewife
Godly Men & Women I Recommend: Link To List
Resources For False Teaching: Recommended Websites For False Teachers/Teaching
Video Playlist: Christian Questions, Topics, False Teachers, Insights
Video Playlist: New Christian Believer
Video Playlist: Understanding False Teachings
Video Playlist: Sermons To Grow From
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