Help people align what they feel underneath what they know; help them wrestle with what is happening in their heart with what they perceive in their mind. The caring shepherd must address this discord or their sheep will scatter in disillusion. This is why most people struggle with the question of pain, “If God is loving why do I hurt?” What they know of God and what they are feeling does not line up. Pastors must feed their people’s minds or the flock will follow their unsettled heart right off a cliff.
They will follow their heart before they will follow you. When they do follow it is because they have learned that the shepherding presence calms their anxious heart, but it is still the heart that rules.
Pain and hurt and struggle and strife are important parts of life. Tribulation is necessary, it is a valley to get through and not try to get around. Everyone must learn to think through what they feel.
When their mind and heart are not aligned, ask:
1) What are you feeling right now, describe the valley of emotions?
2) What do you know about God’s promises?
3) Ask for faith to bridge the gap.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for (I know) you are with me; – Psalm 23:4