How can it be wrong when it feels so right . . .
I bet that if you search, you’ll find some variation of this line in several different songs. I’m no singer/songwriter, but I’ve written my own version of that song. I’ve hummed it about late-night pizza and just one more episode of whatever I’m watching. How could something that feels so good, possibly be bad? Unfortunately, I haven’t just sung this song about too much pizza or TV. I’ve belted out these lyrics defiantly as I’ve continued conversations I know I should walk away from. I’ve repeated it like a never-ending chorus when stuck in a cycle of behavior I suspect I need to break, but should I really when it feels so good?
Over and over, I’ve used my freedom to indulge my appetite for food, entertainment, security, belonging, acceptance, and I have discovered that what feels good in the moment can end up hurting very badly. I can promise you that living life governed by what feels good will have you chasing a feeling. If you’re lucky enough to catch it, you won’t be lucky enough to keep it. You’ll want—you’ll need—more of it. You’ll need more of it to trump the last experience of it, or more of it to medicate the aftermath of it.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16
I have not practiced running to the degree that I can run for any significant length of time (because running doesn’t feel good, so how can it be right?) but walking I can do. I can walk for a long period of time. I can continue walking even over difficult terrain. I think that’s why Paul says ‘walk’ in the Spirit. It’s movement that can be carried out for long periods of time, even when hills pop up on the path.
Keep moving, but not alone. Keep moving in the power of the Spirit. Walk in step with the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Why? Because it’s going to be hard. You will face competing desires so you’ll need strength and wisdom to choose what is right, especially when it doesn’t feel right. You’re in a battle and the bad news is, your feelings will sometimes lie to you.
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Romans 7:24
If you don’t feel the anguish of that question, the pain and difficulty of it, you won’t feel relief in the answer. But if you’ve cried that cry, take heart there is an answer.