In this guest post, novelist Alison Strobel discusses her latest book The Heart of Memory and how it explores the difference between emotional faith and life-giving truth. Also, don't miss the Heart of Memory eBook Giveaway. Through May 2, you can download the eBook free wherever eBooks are sold.
One of the themes of my latest novel, The Heart of Memory, is that of the nature of truth. In this postmodern age, truth has been discussed to death—is there absolute truth, can we really know truth, what is truth in the first place? One of the most damaging realities that has arisen from this discussion is the emphasis some people place on emotion as an indicator of truth, especially as it relates to faith and religious belief. Nowadays there are some who teach that if a particular truth hurts your feelings, or doesn't feel right, or seems unfair, then it must not be true. But is this—well—the truth?
Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things. We can all think of a time when our feelings led us down wrong, even destructive, paths, or when our emotions did not support the idea of doing what we knew was right. Relationships that are formed on nothing but feelings will crumble beneath the weight of discord or tragedy. And a faith that is contingent on feeling God's presence is a faith without the foundation of Scripture, and is likely to dissolve in the face of persecution or doubt.
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In The Heart of Memory, the main character, Savannah, finds her faith disappearing. Instead of returning to the unchanging Word of God, she allows her emotions—inexplicable as they are—to guide her. Sadly, this doesn't only happen in novels. I'm sure we can all think of someone (maybe even ourselves) who has turned their back on God because they let their emotions determine what was true. A life lived that way—ruled by feelings and not by truth—will always come to ruin eventually. Savannah was saved from the natural consequences of her emotions by a friend who cared enough to say, "Hey, I think you’re making a mistake." Do we have it in us to be that friend when we see someone making the same poor choice? Or do our own feelings—of fear, of pride, of embarrassment—keep us silent?
If you decide to give The Heart of Memory a try, I hope its examination of the true nature of truth will be an encouragement to you as you navigate your own faith. I know God gives me these stories for a reason—perhaps your own life is why The Heart of Memory was written.
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About Alison Strobel
Alison Strobel writes novels that explore life, love and faith. She lives in Colorado with her husband and two daughters. Visit her at www.AlisonStrobel.com.