February 8
Selective expression
For reading & meditation: John 2:13-17
"How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!" (v.16)

We continue thinking about the psalmist's decision to take himself in hand and refrain from relaying his doubts to others. I feel it important at this point to say a further word about repression and expression. Christians, we said earlier, are never to pretend about anything. Whether we worry, covet, resent, hate, we are to acknowledge the reality of who we are at any given moment. Fully admitting to ourselves and to God that we are angry, worried or full of doubts, is not sin. It becomes sin when we constantly focus on it and allow it to drag us down into despair. But does this mean that in order to experience emotional health we must let everything out and tell everybody exactly how we feel? The clear answer to that question is "No", but it is an answer that must be qualified. For example, when seeking help from a counsellor or minister, it would be right to share exactly how you feel. The principle I suggest we adopt in relation to this is as follows: we may express our acknowledged emotions only when such expression is consistent with God's purposes. This is a critical point and it must be understood. The cure for repression is not to "let it all hang out" but to be selective, expressing only those emotions that are in harmony with God's will. We must freely admit to ourselves and to God what is happening to us, but then we must carefully and selectively consider whether it is right and in line with God's purposes to share what we feel with others.
Gracious and loving Father, help me to be honest with my feelings, yet willing to subordinate the expression of them in both timing and manner to Your perfect will. In Jesus' Name I ask it Amen.
For further study:
1. What did Jesus encourage as He walked with the disciples?
2. How did He bring perspective to them?