Saturday, July 29, 2017

How to Love Your Neighbor - Part 5

With my voice I cry out to the Lord;
with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lordpour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.
Psalm 142:1-2

Remember I mentioned in the last post we might touch on how to love patiently again? At that time I had no idea what the next post on loving our neighbors (i.e. everyone who crosses our path) would entail. I thought I knew, but then God worked a new message in my life. Well, not really a new message. More like He reminded me of an old one.

You may have read the verses above and wondered if I included the wrong scripture. Or scratched your head at what crying out to God and pouring our complaints before Him has to do with loving better. More patiently.

However, what God has revealed to me in the last couple of days is that these two concepts are closely linked together!

What He has shown me is that when I don't cry out to Him with my complaints and troubles, I end up spilling my complaints and frustration out on those around me. In other words, I'm short-tempered and not patient with others.

It's not that I haven't been praying about situations and for patience. It's that I haven't been spilling my guts to the Lord. For some reason, I felt this would be disrespectful or complaining or whiny.

Yet, when we peruse scripture, especially the Psalms, we see God's people lamenting to Him constantly. Granted, sometimes they are simply being whiny, but that doesn't diminish that God wants all of us, all of our hearts - even the parts that are ugly.

God wants all of us, all of our hearts - even the parts that are ugly. Click to tweet

It's not like He doesn't know our every thought and feeling anyway. He already knows it all, so why not pour it all out to Him.

This is part of surrendering all of who we are to the Creator and Sovereign Lord of the universe. Handing over our doubts, frustrations, lack of understanding, questions, desires, brokenness. Laying it at His feet, lifting it up to Him in prayer, letting it go for God to do as He wills.

This crying out, lamenting, pouring out of our complaints frees us. It frees us of holding onto and carrying the burden. It frees us from axiety and worry. It frees us from continued pain and anguish. It frees us to draw closer to the Lord.

Crying out, lamenting, pouring out our complaints to God frees us to draw closer to Him and love others better. Click to tweet

It frees us to love others better. More patiently.

We no longer feel the need to cry out, lament, badger, or complain to our loved ones. This doesn't mean we don't share our thoughts, feelings, or opinions. But it allows us to do so from a place of knowing we've surrendered these things to the Lord and He is working in them.

So, as in doing anything more like Jesus, we must live more like Jesus. He constantly went to the Father in prayer. I doubt he held anything back. Neither should we.

...the Lord hears the needy... Psalm 69:33 Click to tweet

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