Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote that God is a god of truth, not a god of emotions. When I first read it, it evoked a bad reaction in me – as you’d know from reading anything I write, I’m an emotionally driven person. But good old Dietrich is right on this count. My emotions are easily manipulated. Listening to Green Day for a day makes me feel like writing angry poetry and ranting about how the world has gone to crap. Listening to the Glee cast recordings for a day makes me want to dance in very goofy ways. My emotions can be controlled by something as simple as music. I imagine they have some hold on yours, too, even if it isn’t as strong as what it has on mine. Today my perception of the world isn’t a nice one, and if I let my emotions run away like they want to, pretty soon I will start to doubt God simply because of my musical choices for the day.
Now, a few tangents can happen from here – we take an athiests view and discuss how God is simply an illusion born out of our own emotional needs for a higher power, but I’m not an athiest and God is a god of truth, thus he is not controlled by emotion. We could skip down the path of someone who once told me that I needed to listen to only positive music so that I wouldn’t feel the way certain music makes you feel… She’s got a point, but I love a lot of music so it will never happen and feels like you’re just trying to manipulate yourself. Here’s my thought, though… That even though my perception is easily controlled, truth remains truth.
God is God even when I want to walk away. And when in my perception he isn’t in control, he still is. When people say he doesn’t exist, he still does. When people say he doesn’t love them, he still does. And I will admit that I can’t give you 100% proff of any of those things but faith means not that I’m blind to logic, but that my logic is informed by the track record of God that I know from my experience and more importantly, the Bible and what God did in and through the lives of his people. And so there is truth. In spite of sporadic (is that the right word?) emotions, there is truth.
If I lose my hope and I lose my faith, I lose the truth.