Today’s reading: Psalm 80
How easy is it for people to really get to know you? I mean, do you naturally share your thoughts/feelings in a way others can see the “real” you? Like I’ve said before, I’m an introvert at my core. Different than a lot of introverts, it is easy for me to engage in conversation with others. I admit, however, that much of this easy conversation is just small talk. For me to share my true thoughts/feelings with others, I have to trust that they aren’t going to use what I share against me. Getting to this level of transparency takes an investment of time and energy from both sides. So, am I easy to get to know? Probably not, I suspect none of us really are.
As I was reading Psalm 80 in my Life Application Study Bible (Tyndale House Publishers) this week, I came across a section titled Prayer in the Book of Psalms that offered some challenging insights for me. The Book of Psalms is a collection of song-type prayers (much like the worship songs we sing today). A key feature of these prayers is true honesty/transparency. We see the authors expressing their raw thoughts and feelings to God, which is a model for how God wants us to communicate with him.
This is where the challenge came in. Am I communicating with God in the way he wants or am I only offering small talk? Am I being completely honest with him or am I only sharing a watered-down version of my feelings because I’m afraid they are outside of his will, I don’t want to spend the time it takes, or I don’t want him to see my true motives?
Three times in Psalm 80 the author asks God to:
Turn us again to yourself, O God. Make your face shine upon us. Only then we we be saved (Psalm 80: 3, 6 and 19).
If we want God to turn us to himself, we have to be willing to be transparent with him. We have to spend quality time in deep conversation with him, letting him see our passions, our raw emotions and our true motivations. This is more time than a prayer around the dinner table and/or praying alongside your child at bedtime.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded (James 4:8).