Are My Feelings Sinful If I Don’t Act On Them?

Q. I want to ask about feelings. If any person feels like he loves someone from the same sex, and this love is bringing him happiness, and this person still is a believer, still prays and participates at the Mass, is that wrong if these feelings are spiritual and don’t become physical? So, the Church has a problem with it if it’s only feelings?

A. First, lets agree that the feelings you have are emotional, not spiritual. Jesus said sin begins in the heart (Matt. 15:29) and James added that after desire has conceived it gives birth to sin (James 1:15). This means that once we begin permitting a sinful feeling to occupy our mind it’s as if we have already committed the sin. By the way, this does not just apply to the feelings you’re experiencing. The same is true of any feeling we have that violates God’s law, whether it concerns sex, anger, envy, false witness, or whatever. And our problem is not with the church we go to, it’s with God. After all they’re His laws.

Jesus made His statement to show us that just because we avoid actually doing something sinful, it doesn’t mean we haven’t sinned. He was trying to make us understand that no one can be sin free, we all need a Savior. If we could stop sinning then Jesus didn’t have to die for us, we could save ourselves (Romans 7:18-25).

It’s good that you have kept yourself from acting on your feelings, but they are sin just the same and require God’s forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 says if we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If you ask Him to forgive you, He will.

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