My story of coming to faith in Christ is… well… boring. I grew up in a Christian family, and there was never a time when we weren’t involved in church. When I was seven years old, I decided that I was ready to become a believer in Jesus. It was a simple, logical decision for me – no emotion whatsoever.

I used to find myself a little envious of people who have more dramatic, emotional conversion stories, but I’ve learned to be grateful for my testimony and how God has used me.

We can rely on our emotions when it comes to faith. Hearing a powerful story of life change can move us. Music can tug at our emotions, especially in worship. The conviction that the Holy Spirit brings us can drive an emotional response.

The problem we run into is when we try to pursue an emotional Christianity. Many believers chase an emotional high, confusing it with a spiritual high.

We all do it sometimes. As my friend Kurt Petersheim puts it, “The Holy Spirit is described as a fire, but we often want fireworks.” But there are dangers to this mindset, and we would do well to avoid them.

The Bible warns us against trusting our emotions. Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV) tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Faith isn’t based on feelings; rather, we have faith when we trust God.

Faith is paramount and should lead our relationship with God. The church father John Bradford said, “Faith must first go before, and then feeling will follow.” We lead with our belief and trust, and whatever emotions go along with our walk with God will make sense.

We’re never meant to live on an emotional high at all times. As my friend Trey Bailey puts it, a roller coaster isn’t fun if you stay up high all the time. The fun comes in the highs and lows.

King Solomon reminded us in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (ESV):

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

When we chase emotional highs, they can become addictive, like a drug.


Check out the previous installments in Chris Queen’s Liberty Island writings on faith:

My Church Heritage and How It Shaped Me

What I’ve Learned from Reading a Systematic Theology

A Faith-Drenched View of the South


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