Last Tuesday evening our small group was discussing the weekend's sermon, which was about joy, one of the fruits of the Spirit. During the talking, something struck me. We often talk about "feeling" joy. But really, if you look closely at the various fruits of the Spirit, they aren't feelings, they are attitudes. And attitudes are something we choose. We can even change them. Sometimes we choose unconsciously, without thinking. But they are chosen, not something determined by our circumstances.
Sometimes in raising our kids we had to push them to examine their attitudes toward things, and maybe persuade them to change their attitudes in particular areas. And it often worked quite well.
But what about the feelings? Well, if you bring your attitudes around to what they ought to be, the feelings will usually come around after a while. Feelings are useful followers--they make lousy leaders.