Be honest with yourself
For reading & meditation: Psalms 51:1-9
“Surely you desire truth in the inner parts ‘” (v.6)
Even the most casual reader of Psalm 73 cannot help but be struck by the openness and honesty of the psalmist. He says: “My feet had almost slipped ‘ for I envied the arrogant” (vv. 2-3). This again is one of the great values of the book of Psalms – it brings home to us the importance of acknowledging what is going on in our hearts when we are caught up in the midst of conflict. I cannot stress enough how spiritually damaging it is to ignore or deny our true feelings. There is a form of teaching going around in some Christian circles today which holds that one should never admit or acknowledge a negative thought or feeling – not even for a single second. Life must be lived positively, it is said, and that means refusing to consider or even glance at anything negative. What nonsense! The people who advocate this approach to life can never have read the book of Psalms. I am all for a positive approach to life, but positivism first involves facing things realistically no matter how negative they may be. How can you know what you need to be positive about until you have clearly seen what is troubling you? Once an issue is faced, and faced realistically, then the matter can and must be dealt with in a positive way. But to try and be positive without bringing into clear focus what is wrong is like building a house on sand. No matter how much cement is poured into the foundations, and no matter how well the walls are reinforced, when a storm comes it will sink without trace.