Tuesday, December 06, 2011

How to Make Your Life a No Bellyaching Zone

I love this piece based on Psalm 37 by David Branon.

The psalm gives an alternative to the favorite indoor sport for Christians in their church fellowship halls: bellyaching about how bad things are in the world.

Sin has been standard operating procedure on Planet Earth since Adam and Eve bit into the fruit of the knowledge of and good and evil. It was that evil that thought to rid humanity of all accountability to God and all notions of love for God or neighbor by killing off Jesus, though He was truly God and a truly sinless human being. So, the fact that there are bad things--often horrific things--in the world may arouse our compassion and our horror, but never our surprise.

Bellyaching and whining about how great things were in the supposed "good old days" only guts us of joy and robs the world of our witness for the truly better life that can belong to all who trust in Jesus Christ, here and in eternity.

In his beautiful post on Psalm 37, Branon surfaces five things the Psalm says that we can do as believers in Christ to stand subversively against all the hatred, cynicism, selfishness, and adulation of self over others that exists in our world. The list:
  • Trust in the Lord and do good.
  • Feed on God's faithfulness.
  • Delight yourself in God. (I would say, "Enjoy God and His goodness!)
  • Commit your way to God. (Turn the keys of your life over to God. Learn to pray, "Thy will be done.")
  • Rest in the Lord. (Be confident that God, Who brought everything into being, will have the last say, and it will be good!)
I suggest reading the Psalm and Branon's piece on it often, then jotting down these five points on a card that you can keep with you at all times. When the impulse to bellyache about how horrible things are, pull out the card and let it be a reminder.

And remember Jesus' words:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
When we trust in Jesus as the final Authority over our lives, we have a lot to be thankful for. I know that I need to be reminded of that. I need to remember that all bellyaching is unnecessary! 

(By the way, here is a link to Psalm 37.) 

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