I Wouldn't Say That

July 11, 2010
by Pat Bell

Psalm 86:15 – But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. (NIV)

Very late one evening, while the rest of my family slept, I tidied away at kitchen chores. In my annoyance with the thankless, necessary tasks, I took the occasion to complain to the Lord. I finished my rant. In the quiet moments which followed, "I wouldn't say that about it" was the gentle, but startling admonition that I felt impressed deep onto my soul as His response.

More than twenty years have passed since that revelation. Since then, on occasion, I have heard someone voice a sense of worthlessness or hopelessness. If opportune, my response has been, "I wouldn't say that about it." If it was not a time for me to speak aloud, that worthless or hopeless evaluation became a topic in my prayers, where I invited God to move and stamp His value on the situation or person(s) and deny the destructive notion that seemed to hold sway. I have seen positive answers to those prayers.

Over time, I have taken to heart some of what God does say about people and things. I have learned that the terms "bless" or "praise" in the Hebrew language can be directed toward God or toward persons. In both instances, it means to value or celebrate true worth. Using these words is an effective antidote for expressions of worthlessness or hopelessness voiced by others, or even by ourselves.

Prayer: Father, we enter Your presence with joy, in the name of Christ, our Redeemer. We ask You to lead us by Your Holy Spirit to praise and bless in all things. May we ever give You thanks. Amen.

About the author:

Pat Bell <llebpat@gmail.com>
Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada

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