Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Air Your Doubts Carefully -- Psalm 73:15

In my recent sermon from Psalm 73 ("Billboard Christianity"), I chose not to spend a great deal of time on verse 15. But it is worthy of comment here.

After a series of doubts and expressions of despair, the Psalmist writes, "If I had spoken out like that, I would have betrayed your children" (NIV).

If you read verse 1-14, verse 15 sounds like double talk. If you had spoken out like that???....YOU JUST DID! You just spent fourteen verses doubting whether the worship of God and the pursuit of holiness is worth our time and effort. So, what are you saying when you say "if I had"? Why even throw out a sentence like that? 

I believe the Psalmist lets us know that we need to be careful where and when, and with whom we share our doubts. The Psalmist knows that at the end of the day, each believer has a tremendous influence on other believers. The Psalmist knows that if s/he would have spoken too loudly of his/her doubts among the wrong people, s/he could have betrayed others and possibly encouraged them to leave the faith. 

Psalm 73 as a whole shows us that it is ok to have doubts. It is ok to question the ways of God (with humility). God can handle our spiritual interrogations. But that does not give us free reign to spew vitriol upon  the Divine. Young ears are listening. Weak hearts are weighing in. Please air your doubts. Please don't lock yourself up in turmoil. But be wise with whom you engage in such conversations. You just might betray the children of God.

No comments: