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Just read the first chapter of Feel and think I will love this book. Really got me thinking.

Many thoughts....but here is one...maybe one of my more complex thoughts...might not draw a conclusion here...just an observation.

No one likes emotions that are painfull! We live our lives trying to avoid them. We don't like saddness, anger, confussion, etc. But it seems that we are in a world that will, in the end, always leave us wanting. This is what Paul referrs to in 2 Cor. 5:1-2: "For we know that if our earthly house, the tent we live in, is dismantled, we have a building from God, a house not built by human hands, that is eternal in the heavens. For in this earthly house we groan, because we desire to put on our heavenly dwelling."

In our present bodies (and lives) we will groan. That does not sound good to me, nor does it sound like it will bring about emotions of happiness, joy, love, etc.

So in this world with groaning, how can I experience the good stuff? I have found that it is when I am investing in the next life (God's kingdom) that I feel my best feelings. But as I feel those good feelings I simultaneously feel the bad. This is unavoidable. No man or woman, Christ included, has avoided the painful feelings. The fortunate ones are the ones who have the good feelings mixed in.

I count myself blessed to have both and I am very much looking forward to heaven!

Drew - BBC

Laura Elliott

You are so right that your greatest emotions should be when you are excited about the God stuff, setting your hope on things above. That is what God tells us to be excited about because the other stuff falls flat after a while. Thanks so much for your insight. Can't wait to read more.


So, After reading chapter one, Im really hoping this book will help me "feel" again! Or at least point me in the right direction. I have, for quite some time now, felt like Im in a dead-zone. I am really hoping that I can use this study as a tool to help me be a joyful person as I do what I am called to do as opposed to a person that just "does". By no means am I suffering from depression, I just know Im not as happy as I have the potential to be. For the longest time we are taught to stifle any negative emotion - dont get angry, dont be sad, etc - but as its pointed out in the book, God gave us these emotions, with the intent for us to use them. Nothing pent up - joy, sorrow, anger - is healthy, and I think keeping one emotion isinde can cause you to keep the others inside. I think we just need to get a grip on them and use them as tools to better relationships with others and most importantly, God. Im looking forward to what this study has to offer and hope I leave it with a better understanding of my emotions and how I can tune into them better!


Hello, Matthew,

I have read a few chapters in your book and can empathize with your desire to express to others that we all need to worship God and love Him more and express that love to others more fully (1st and 2nd commandment). And it should be emphasized more in sermons and be the basis for everything taught in church. However, I do have a concern with what I've read so far. The book seems to put emotions on a pedestal without adding a cautionary note about letting emotions rule us in our Christian walk. I'm not talking about how we need to follow rules (legalism) over emotion; instead, I'm referring to a gift of the Holy Spirit: self-control. If an emotionally-unstable individual (or one who tends to lean toward that tendency) read the book, he/she might think it is all right to just give in to every emotional whim. God says, "I have not given you the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." Power, love, and self-control are God's gifts to us. Power and love, tempered with self-control, can work mighty wonders in our lives and in the lives of others. And God says in the book of James, "Try the spirits [which can include your feelings] to see whether they are of God" and "pray without ceasing." I think that prayer bring self-control and discernment and can help us know whether a particular emotion is of God or not and to help us know whether we should follow that emotion or not. I apologize if I bring up a can of worms but wondered if I was just misunderstanding the intentions behind what I was reading. Please clarify to me and to whomever else might be thinking the same things I am. Thanks!


Dear Kelley,

Thanks for your good thinking. In writing the book, we felt that the cautions against emotional excess is so front and center in the church that we wanted to take an approach that was more thought provoking and challenging. People need to learn a new way of loving God and others. God wants so much more from us. Read on! And if you still have concerns after finishing do let me know. All the best.



This past week I was perusing the Christian Inspiration section at Barnes and Noble. I came across this book and was intrigued. I had just finished week 7 of a unit of hospital chaplaincy, which was spent reflecting on the deaths of my own grandparents following patient visits. I had come to discover how I felt during the evening before my grandpa's death, but never actually realized how I felt until now, 14 years later.
The question I find myself struggling with after reading this chapter is: Does my lack of knowing how I feel in a given situation affect my relationship with God? I have reason to believe it does. I have reason to believe it affects the amount of time I spend with God in a given day.


I think whenever we bottle up and push down our feelings we are doing harm to ourselves and in harming ourselves we often do damage to our walk with God. If we think that God does not want us to feel as we are naturally feeling, it puts up a barrier – we loose communion. If we try to be strong and not feel, we do not allow God to minister love in our weakness. The other crucial thing is not to stay there, we feel the pain of living in a broken world but we also need to work hard at moving on and out.


I've always paid attention to my feelings. I've always been looked at weird because I think too much about things. Something I notice about a lot of people is that they think too much on the surface or think about things in a more logical perspective. Thinking too indepth seems like its not allowed.

I feel that its completely acceptable to have feelings and to pay attention to them. I also think that feelings are what fuel our passions, which is why I can understand Ben. I have met a lot of people who seem like they have everything "together", but when it really comes down to it, they are really lost and it seems to always shock the outsiders. Now, I'm not talking about everyone, but I'm talking about some of these people we look up to that it feels like everything they got going on is perfect. I think it also good to note that in this world, it's not okay to have "issues". If you're successful, your not allowed to be weak and I think that's terrible, since no one in this world is perfect. I think regardless of what stage of life we are in, we all have feelings about things and people should be acceptable of them. If we all walked around just thinking with our heads only, I think we would be robots without emotions.

I also think that feelings are good, but we don't know how to express them sometimes. I have a friend that constantly puts walls up at all times and never lets anyone in to anything she is feeling, especially significant others. I think this is really bad because not expressing feelings, good or bad can utterly destroy someone. Talking it out, writing it out or praying it out are some healthy ways of expressing. Not expressing them can lead to some broken relationships, bitterness, anger and depression. It's something I've dealt with and have had to learn the hard way.

Feelings are good and we should all recognize that we have them and handle them in healthy ways. God gave us feelings for a reason, so we can make the decisions to love or hate; to accept the Lord or to reject him; cry or be angry; etc.


I am 18 and have been walking with jesus for 3 years, but those 3 years have been full of confusion. For so long I have been living for God because it seemed like the right thing to do, but now im starting to realize that I really have little or no love towards God. Those 3 years was just plan duty instead of love and loyalty. I dont understand when people say "you gota put ya feelins aside and resume ya walk with God". That type of stuff gets on my nerves because its like why would God entrust us with these feelings if he just wanted us to set them aside. Should I really say I have been walking with god if those 3 years was just off of duty?


My dear Raphael,

Each and every one of us is on a journey with Jesus, learning and growing. It does not come all at once. I know that part of what drew you to Jesus was love and certainly his love for you. Do not sell yourself too short. You can, today, begin a new season in your journey just by desiring the kind of heart that he died to give you. It is yours for the asking. Seek God first and he will give you the desires of your heart – one of those desires can be a vibrant and trusting heart. No, I do not believe for one second that 3 years are wasted, it can be hard to come out of a difficult background or hurt and have what God plans all at once. He is remaking us day by day, and I believe just the realization that you need more in your relationship with God than duty is a great step. He will honor that desire and give you much, much more that you can ever imagined.

Matthew 6:31-33



I have recently been raped for the second time in my life and am angry and scared. I grew up thinking that I should never be angry at God, yet somehow that is exactly how I feel. I was talking to a good friend who told me that I needed to be honest with God on how I really feel since that is what God wants from us. This friend was the first person to ever tell me that being angry with God was okay. She recommended your book to me to help with sorting out feelings in relation to my religious beliefs and so far, just from reading chapter 1, I think she is right.

Patti Gault

In terms of emotions in worship, early in my faith I belonged to a church that expected everyone to sit quietly and internalize all their worship. While there, I do believe I grew in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. There are many lifelong friends there who I believe have a call on their lives to serve God in various ways.

But, when I began an evangelistic singing ministry and I began to experience different forms of worship I felt drawn to a more emotional more charismatic style. This is what is right for me. I believe this is partly because I am by nature an expressive personality. But, I recognize that not everyone is.

Believers are all many members in one body [the body of Christ] It takes many kinds of worship to connect with the many kinds of personalities that God created in His children.

Shell Smith

Dear Matthew

Thank you for presenting this study on emotions. I grew up hating my emotions because my older brother would yell or hit me if I had any strong emotions - happy or sad. I learned to drown them out through drugs and alcohol early in life. Thankfully someone told me about God being a Father to the fatherless and that changed everything. It took years however till I started to accept my emotions and the way I was created. Now I teach parenting classes and I see the need for parents to help their children understand the role of emotions. I have met so many parents terrified of emotions and just trying to avoid them. The problem with that is however that they don't cultivate the good emotions that fuel life and love and their children often turn away to other things. Matthew - thank you again for pushing through all the hassles to present this material - keep going.


Matthew Elliott

Thanks so much Shell for your testimony and encouragement. Someday, I would love to think and write more about emotions and parenting. I think there are some major concepts we do not teach well in how to express our own emotions to our kids and how we can encourage them to express theirs in healthy ways. Let me know your thoughts one of these days.



I love this book. I know I haven't been dealing with my feelings like I should. I grew up with a stoic mom and an absent dad. Even after I grew up, people in the church didn't let me feel either. My feelings were bad. They were wrong. And I was not using the "mind of Christ". This book has opened up so much for me in my way of thinking. I really have had to stop and ponder what each chapter means for me. I look forward to reading the rest.


I have been proud in the past saying to people that I only feel two kinds of emotions that is anger and joy. I was just afraid to feel sadness and fear . Probably beacuse I had in my past before I became a Christian an anxiety and depression . I was afraid to process this emotions because my mom had a nervous breakdown and my dad was so afraid that one of us will have it. I had histories of abusive relationships and found it very hard to express my emotions to them for fear I might be vulnerable. I want to be emotionally whole. almost all christian books i've read equate negative emotions such as anger, fear and sadness as something negative and equates to sin and all the while the only legitimate reason why a Christian will feel sadness is during a loss of loved one . Love is a choice , forget about emotions your feelings just obey. Forget about anger, being angry is being emotionally immature, dont express what you feel or else you might just dwell on this emotions and make your situation worse. which made me afraid to read psalms for fear of losing control of my emotions. I thought that David was all along a weak individual compared to Paul. Now after reading the first chapter . Am excited to read psalms and be honest with the Lord about my feelings and know His mind and heart. I want to feel the joy of my salvation . just like when I was a new believer


I believe in my heart that I am a very passionate individual. It is evident in my work as a physician as a mother and a wife when I was new in my marriage but my husband was an angry man I became but my anger and bitter and left me cold and numb towards my husband. I felt empty and now am going to the Lord .I find myself not really loving God as I should. I was had a hunger and love for the Lord when I was a new believer. Pls pray for me I want to know God and be intimate with Him

Matthew Elliott

Thanks for blessing me with your thoughts. Welcome to a new path of learning about and living in the way God built you to feel. I believe that God can transform you as you seek to pursue a new kind of spiritual life.

Mark Sequeira

I am just starting this book and excited, but then I am also in a good place in my walk. I am especially interested in how it relates to the "Dark Night of the Soul" as described by St. John of the Cross, and the issue of faith, and how God is sometimes seemingly "removed" or "distant" that we might have faith and not need to forever be embraced or carried around as babies versus the mature loving individuals God wishes us to be (to better reflect Him in the world). So I am much looking forward to this book.

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