Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Personality type we bring to our reading of scripture!

I am still working on the big post I mentioned previously but in the mean time.

This week something interesting and probably quite obvious struck me about how different people read scripture and what they get from it. The worship team I am part of is reading Psalms and every few weeks a different person shares something about how a particular Psalm has spoken to them etc...

In that context, this week the person sharing was quite honest and said they have found reading the psalms quite difficult as they can't really relate to a lot of them as they are full of 'woe is me', 'I'm in a hole', 'My enemies gather around me' etc... I found that interesting because that is the very reason I love the psalms. I love their honesty of the human condition, the painful heart felt cries of an anguished soul. David was a man really in touch with his emotions who was not afraid to pour them out before God.

The only Psalms this person did relate to were the straight praise Psalms. Now that I find a bit harder, though as I myself am currently learning about what it means to praise God and the power in it I am learning to relate to those as well.

This person said that on the whole they are a jolly and positive person. Now I can see, if that is the case then the 'woe' stuff could be seen as just very negative. However we have all been through tough times and been hurt to some extent so unless you are not fully in touch with your emotions and in some sort of denial then for me I find that point of view very hard to get my head around.

So taking that further if we read the Psalms that way then I guess we do that for the rest of scripture, take our baggage to it. I think that could be a little dangerous to some degree and we should always approach scripture with a heart open to what God wants to say to us and try and lay down our own pre-conceived ideas as much as is possible.

Anyway I thought that was interesting to observe.


Nick Payne said...

The thing about the Psalms is that they are an honest dialogue between the writer and God.

The whole point about the "woe is me" Psalms is that they actually reveal a healthy way to deal with anger, bitterness and hurt.

The psalmist when in that mood starts of with his rant... but always... because he is talking to God, there is a point where the problem decreases and God increases and at the end it always seems to end in praise and acknowledgement of God... and the promise, reassurance or hope of deliverance.

Although we shouldn't really have favourites, i must confess that the poetic quality of the Psalms and Prophets endear them to me very strongly.



Alastair said...

I think the psalms are there as a blessing to us, reminding us that there is nothing we can't bring before God. The monastic tradition, which has always been very strong in the Church, has always said the psalms as a discipline in order to remember that God is in all parts of life, and that even when we don't feel a certain way, there are others who do.

I think we should recognise that we all approach Scripture from where we are, and yet remain under its authority and be willing to let God speak to us both where we are and where he would have us be!