Intuition is a wily devil. Sometimes it lies. Sometimes it unveils things that are hidden at first glance. But can it be trusted as a revealer of truth in the day-to-day happenings in our lives?
Before I attempt to answer this question, I need to tell you a bit about me. I am primarily a feeler. What does this mean? It means that I have a tendency to trust my feelings more than I trust the written word. And especially in this day where one person’s written word will in all likelihood contradict the written word of another (sometimes even within moments with the advent of social media), my “feeler” tendencies or my intuition has a tendency to be on display far more often than it might have in days gone by. Some might call this a conscience. Another might term this our soul. Whatever it is, it can be a huge help at certain times and a terrible hindrance during others. So how are we to tell the difference between intuition that should be listened to and intuition that should be sent packing. I propose four tests for trusting our intuition. They are:
- How does it line up with the one Written Word that can be trusted? I can say I feel a certain way about a specific situation but if my feelings or my intuition seems to be leading me to believe something that is clearly forbidden in the Word of God or is highly unsatisfactory wisdom-wise, then I ought not to trust it as a revealer of truth.
- Is it an intuition or a feeling born out of fear? God has told us in His Word that he has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7). Fear and faith cannot co-exist. Everything that is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). Intuition that is not rooted in faith in a loving God and in a comprehensive belief in His Word is unreliable. Don’t trust feelings or intuition rooted in fear.
- Can it be verified by wise counselors? I may feel a certain way and I may continue to feel that way until I tell another woman what I’m feeling and I ask her to help me discern whether or not what I am feeling is truth-filled. How many of us who are feelers will go this extra step and expose what we’re feeling to someone who can tell us whether or not what we’re feeling is wise? If we cannot, or if we will not, we’re being foolish. Wisdom is found in a multitude of wise counselors (Proverbs 15:22)
- Do I trust my feelings more than I trust God’s Word? This is probably a sticking point for some of us. Many times, it has been a sticking point for me. I am a woman. My feelings matter. However, and this is a BIG however, my feelings are not the final arbiter of truth. And trusting them more than I trust what God has written in His Word shows me where I need to make adjustments. Will God ultimately blend the two? Perhaps. Perhaps not. I need to be okay if he does not and I need to trust God’s Word when my feelings tell me otherwise. What I feel about a given thing doesn’t matter when written truth contradicts.
And ladies (I know I’m going to step on a few toes here. So sorry…), how often have you, have we, resisted our husband’s leadership in our homes because something in our “spirits” told us otherwise, only to find out down the road that had we simply acquiesced, all would have been well?
This morning I fixed myself a pot of tea. My teabag told me that my intuition was my best friend. It is not. Truth is. So much for lying teabags. They get us into a lot of hot water sometimes. Intuition can be a friend if it is placed in right relationship to revealed truth, and for every Bible-believing Christian, that truth is and must be found in the written Word of God. Anything else is suspect. It has the potential to lie. It cannot be trusted.
So the next time you are tempted to say, “I feel” a certain way, or my intuition tells me to ____ (fill in the blank), take a moment to assess those feelings using the checklist above. My guess is that if you do, it’ll keep you and those you love out of a whole lot of trouble!