Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Speak Freely, But...

Mark Roberts on Psalm 89:
Though life has not turned out as the psalmist had hoped, and though it seems to him as if God has contradicted his own commitment to David, nevertheless the psalm writer continues to put his trust and even his praise in God. He looks to the Lord to remember his covenant with David and to raise up someone to rule on David’s throne. In the midst of deep disappointment and suffering, the psalmist exercises shocking freedom in challenging God and shocking faith in praising God.
I find this sort of thing very difficult - words uttered have consequences. Yes, I know that God is both smart enough to know "when I don't really mean it," and strong enough to bear the pain my words might inflict. I am talking about the effect on me.

When I allow a negative feeling to be uttered it gives it a reality that is often unwarranted. Feeling are often ephemeral, when uttered they are given sufficient time to take root. Feelings lack substance, but when spoken they gain mass. When I take something out of my head and put it into the world, it ceases to be pure fantasy.

When I tell God He has been unfaithful, that passes from being my perception of what God is doing to being an accusation. That is a line I do not wish to cross, for in crossing it my faith is eroded. To some extent I can alter and control my perception (or allow the Holy Spirit to control and alter it), but once an accusation is made it has a life all its own.

On the other hand God knows our thoughts - my perceptions are no secret from Him. But to take the time and effort to form them into sentence and prayers seems to me to give them more validity than they deserve. I would rather ask God to remove the distortion from my perception than to tell Him such thoughts.

I am a sinner, I do not wish to give my sins anymore substance than they already enjoy.


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