4 Biblical Ways to Stop Stubborn Feelings for Someone that You Wish Would Just Go Away

Philippians 4:8

How can you stop liking someone?

Maybe you have feelings for an unbeliever and you wish you could just stop. Maybe you expressed interest in someone, they did not reciprocate, and now you just want to move on but for some reason you can’t. Or maybe you actually rejected someone, but now you feel like you made a mistake, and you wish you could not feel regret about this anymore.

Whatever the reason may be for your desire to stop liking someone, here are 4 biblical ways you can finally overcome your stubborn, unwanted feelings for someone.

1. Accept Your Feelings and Let Them Pass Rather Than Giving Them Life By Fighting Them

An unwanted feeling is not necessarily a sinful feeling. In fact, feelings are not usually sinful at all unless you act on them. For example, if you feel like lusting but you resist that feeling, you haven’t sinned.

In much the same way, when you have feelings for someone that you wish you did not like, it’s important to first accept that your feelings are not necessarily sinful. You could be sinning by fueling your feelings for this person in an unwise way. You could be sinning by giving into these feelings and pursuing a relationship that is not biblical. Or you could be sinning by idolizing this person in your heart which is making it impossible to stop these feelings. But the experience of having feelings for someone is usually not sinful. 

When it comes to feelings we wish we didn’t have, sometimes the best way to get rid of them as quickly as possible is by just accepting them and letting them pass. When we feel the need to go through a ritual of mental steps to stop thinking about someone, sometimes we are causing ourselves to think about this person more than we need to. If you have an intense prayer session every time you feel something for this person, your focus on this person can actually fuel you to feel more things for this person.

I’m certainly not telling you to let your mind do whatever it wants. I’m definitely not saying you should pray less. But I am saying that our overreaction to feelings is sometimes the real reason we can’t stop those feelings. Because they are unwanted, they cause us stress, shame, and guilt. These reactions give more life to the unwanted feelings.

Our solution to intense feelings is often to match these feelings with intense resistance. However, this is when our solution can actually become our problem. By focusing so much on the feeling by trying to change the feeling, sometimes all we are doing is breathing more life into this unwanted feeling. 

However, if you just accept that you have feelings for this person that you don’t want to be with, and then you just focus your attention on other things, oftentimes your feelings for this person will go away much faster.

For example, in Philippians 4:8, Paul doesn’t emphasize the need to simply avoid bad thoughts. Rather, he emphasizes our need to focus on good things. To overcome the unwanted, you often need to focus less on the unwanted and more on what you do want (Romans 12:21).

By paying these unwanted feelings so much attention, you give them life. By just letting them pass without a huge reaction on your part, they usually end up going away much quicker.

2. Satisfy the Root Desire and Oftentimes the Feeling Will Stop

Sometimes the feeling won’t go away because it’s meant to motivate you to do something you should do. Sometimes we have shame over feelings that we shouldn’t have shame about.

It’s not wrong to like someone. If this person is a Christian and you sense it’s possible that you two could make a great couple, perhaps God won’t let you stop liking this person because you are supposed to be with this person.

Of course if this person is an unbeliever or they have already openly rejected you, you should find a different solution to these unwanted feelings. But in some instances, the way to stop unwanted feelings is to realize you shouldn’t want to stop these feelings. Perhaps the real issue is not the feelings but the false belief that you shouldn’t have these feelings.

As 1 Corinthians 7:36 explains, “If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin.” Paul probably said “it is not sin” because some people felt guilty about their romantic desires, which wasn’t correct. While Paul loved his singleness, he made sure that people knew God would not call everyone to the same life of singleness that Paul had been called to.

As he said in 1 Corinthians 7:7, “I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.”

3. Create Distance Between You and Whatever Is Fueling These Feelings

As the old saying goes, “If you play with fire, you’re going to get burned.”

Sometimes we want it both ways. We want our feelings for someone to stop but we also want to keep seeing this person. We don’t want to date this person but we also don’t want to lose our friendship with this person. Or we do want to date this person but this person doesn’t want to date us, and so we settle for friendship because that’s the best we can get.

If you really want your feelings to stop, sometimes you have to be more extreme in guarding your own heart (Proverbs 4:23). By avoiding this person, you will starve the fire of your desires and oftentimes they just go out overtime (Proverbs 26:20-21).

4. Break Agreements with the Lie that You Will Never Get Over This Person

By the term “agreement,” I’m referring to a belief that gives power to a statement. A statement is just a statement unless you “agree” with it in your heart.

For example, when the pastor speaks biblical statements in the sermon and you “agree” with them, those truths can then take root in your life and they can help guide your feelings and actions.

Likewise, if you “agree” with something that is untrue, that lie will begin to negatively influence your feelings and actions.

Therefore, if you have agreed with the statement, “I’ll always have feelings for this person” then that agreement will influence you to keep having feelings for this person. But if you say in your heart, “I reject the lie that I will always have feelings for this person. I break that agreement,” then that lie will lose its power.

Make a new agreement with truth found in God’s word, “I choose to believe God’s word, which says I have control over my feelings (Philippians 4:4). I believe God has a good plan for me.” As 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV) explains:

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Related Article: 3 Biblical Ways to Stop Intrusive and Unwanted Throughs

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Published by

Mark Ballenger

ApplyGodsWord.com is the writing ministry of Mark Ballenger. To reach Mark, send him an email anytime: markballenger@applygodsword.com