It’s too easy to get down on ourselves by listening to the garbage that floats between our ears at times, especially when we’re worn down and discouraged. It’s too easy to find a space of lament on an otherwise sunny and carefree day—where we miss copious joys lambasted toward us by our loving God.
God is good. God is always good. God is never not good.
When I listen to those lies I tell myself—how little I’m appreciated, how nasty I am, or how unworthy to God I feel—my momentary beliefs are shaped and they penetrate my heart. Then I’m in trouble.
I begin to act on the negativity permeating my being. I complain about how unfair life is, I compromise my values and the promises I’ve made, and I compare myself with others.
Then God reminds me:
“Don’t complain. Find the plethora of good to be praised, and don’t be afraid of sharing your lament with me. Complaint just rips everyone down and does really no good at all. Replace it with a fresh appreciation for the golden glow of joy that is now being breathed into you through me, your God. Imagine the complaint, small; the mode of appreciation, large.
“Don’t compromise. Lift to meet the standards you’ve set for yourself. Compromise might feel justified now, but you’ll regret it later. Stay faithful. I will bless you, most certainly, by your faithfulness to me. Don’t give up. I’m with you in this; stay with me. Rise up. Be resurrected anew!
“Don’t compare. But if you must compare, compare yourself with me—not in a denigrating way—but in a way that finds you rooted within your mind in the righteousness of the Son. I gave my Son for you! Do you understand something of the depth of this truth? If you do, you’ll smile, for I love you as I love him. You are precious in my sight and in my midst. You are priceless and I could never have another one of you.”
We, as a people, listen to far too many lies that our minds dream up because of discouragement, disappointment, unfair comparison, a lack of recognition, etc. But God is good; entirely good. Our opportunity, today, tonight, at any time, is to rock back on the haunches of our failings and come close to the Lord, who calls us; who loves us; who breathes life into us.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.