Psalm 43

Vindicate me, my God,
    and plead my cause
    against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me from those who are
    deceitful and wicked.
You are God my stronghold.
    Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy?
Send me your light and your faithful care,
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you dwell.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Saviour and my God.

Possibly the second half of last week’s psalm, although it has been given its own number. Still the same refrain – ‘Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God—soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God.’ (The Message) I like how this version is kind to the soul. So often we are rough on ourselves, aren’t we? My version of these verses would far more likely go, ‘For pity’s sake, soul, get a grip!’ or in the Glasgow vernacular: ‘Dry your eyes, hen!’ I don’t think Jesus ever speaks to us like that, though. We’re so good at speaking negatively to and about ourselves but we sin every time we do. Jesus told us to love God and our neighbour as ourselves. We are commanded to love ourselves. I’m pretty sure that vetoes the negative voice we so often use!

Questions for thought and discussion

  • Can you try to have a negativity fast for the rest of the day? That means not saying or thinking anything negative…
  • How can we help our young people to be kinder to themselves?

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