Emotive Metaphors and Truth

The other day I heard Jason Gray’s song “More Like Falling in Love” from the album “Everything Sad is Coming Untrue.” While I normally enjoy Gray’s music (and enjoyed the musicality of this song), I found myself at odds with the lyrics.

He declares that following Jesus has to be “more like falling in love than something to believe in” and “more like giving my heart than pledging my allegiance.”

Although I understand the meaning behind the song – that Christianity is not just a religion, but a relationship – I still take issue with the idea that my Christian walk has to be emotional to be valid. As a person who is more likely to analyze than emote, I am bombarded with messages that tell me that my relationship with God needs to be emotional. This is probably because the creatives making the messages are more likely to emote than analyze, but it still bothers me. It is as if our American church has decided that a relationship with Jesus is based on how it makes me feel, not because it is true.

That is what the song says. “I don’t want something to believe in. I want someone to love.” But Jesus is not just someone to love. He is the Truth. We love him because he is someone to believe in. And is that not what love is? Love is believing in someone. I won’t even mention that DC Talk taught me that love is a verb (action), not a noun (emotion). We do want something to believe in. We need it desperately. We love him because he first loved us (truth), not because he makes me feel good.

I am a Christian because I believe the Bible to be true, and that Jesus is the Truth, the Life, and the Way. How I feel is quite secondary. I don’t believe that Christians never get depressed, feel alone, or angry. I think we are allowed to doubt a little, to question God (see: the Psalms). But in all that emotional mess, the truth anchors me. My faith is greater than my emotion. He is bigger than my circumstances.

Have you ever felt like we trade the truth for emotion in our Christian messaging?

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