If you have been reading for a while, you will know that I tend to have three kinds of posts: 1) I write about the message of a song, or its meaning to me, 2) I expound upon random thoughts that I have had throughout the week, or 3) I have shared what I am learning and seeing in scripture as I read through it. While these are not bad things, it has been pointed out to me truthfully that they have left my posts a little impersonal and overly-positive. I have shared much about general truths that speak general encouragements.
Through this, I have recently come to realize that I have done a poor job of humbly confessing my hearts desires. Not only on this blog, but also to people, in general. This comes out of a mix of reasons, but when you push past all of my excuses, the reality is that I want to be better than I am. I trick myself into thinking that if I hide my sinful desires, then they will go away and I will not need to deal with them. If nobody knows my heart’s temptations, then I don’t really need to know it either.
It is not easy to share or confess where we are tempted. Fortunately for me, there is great encouragement in the psalms for people like me. They give us many, many encouraging verses that speak about a million ways God is faithful, God is sufficient, and God can turn peal our hearts away from the things that we cling to that are not Him.
Why is this so fortunate? When we take these psalms in their inverse, we have an easy way to a) articulate our confession of areas where we are not believing God’s truth, b) better understand what God is trying to teach us, personally, in these verses, and c) hear the very words of our true God speaking into our pain.
As I attempt to confess where I am tempted through these anti-psalms, I am going to post them here. It is too easy for me to lie to myself and to God when I keep my confessions between me and God (perhaps some truth in “it didn’t happen until its on facebook”?). Thank you for helping me be honest with you and with God.
I feel cursed for trusting in things that are not godly,
standing with sinners
and filling myself with contempt,
I delight in my own strength,
and ignore the ways that I called to depend on God and follow him.
I am like a dead stump with my roots upturned,
pulling away from the fresh water,
I feel thirsty, wishing for the water I have turned away from,
I am tired, all of my branches broken and my leaves fallen.
everything I do seems to be no better than mediocre.
I cannot thrive without the living water,
without it, even my upturned roots will not last.
I cannot stand on my own strength,
I am not strong enough to be counted among the righteous on my own.
I act like know how to improve myself,
but I can’t help but continue to depend on myself for my own help
and continue to press on toward death.
Though that may be how I am living, it is not truth. This is:
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season
whose leaves also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the Ungodly shall perish.
I just wanted to note that anti-psalms are meant to be a personal reflection on the psalm. That said, I hope that the anti-psalms I post can help you to see each psalm in a new light. Keep in mind that though they can be helpful, they are not scripture, but only point to the truth that we actually need. I encourage you to go back to the psalms, read them, and create your own anti-psalms. If you are bold enough, post them on Facebook or post them in the comments to my posts. Let yourself be real about who you are, and embrace the encouragement that is in the psalms.