My kids know how to show love to the people they care about most. They show compassion and empathy. Their little smiles bring big joy when they see you, then run towards you with arms wide for a deep hug. Their love is such a blessing to me!
They are equally thankful to receive this same love from me! My daughter will hug me tightly – little arms gripped so hard around the neck that it almost seems we are joined together. She will say to me: “I love you Mommy. You are the best Mommy ever!“
Comments like this make me chuckle as a I consider an almost 5-year-old’s capacity to understand the word “best!” (Every friend at school is a best friend!) But I know it exhibits her strong feelings for me. I don’t NEED to hear these words to know how my daughter feels about me. Still, it feels good to be told you are loved! That moment of honesty and connection enhanced our relationship and strengthened the trust we have with one another.
I could make a similar case for words of anger. We are human – there are moments when we are angry with the people we love. Do we hold that anger in? Do we let those close to us know when we are upset or frustrated? If so, how do we choose the words we use? My 8-year-old will tell me when he is not happy with me – when I’ve told him to go to bed earlier than he’d like, for example. He does what I’ve asked, but honest in our relationship he will let me know his frustration. This, too, strengthens trust and enhances our relationship.
Words are powerful, and the ways we communicate both our feelings of adoration and anger influence the quality of relationship we have. Typically, when we are honest while showing love and care in the words we choose to use, we make relationship stronger.
I believe it is like that with our God. Sometimes we are reluctant to tell God what we are thinking – to be really honest with our fears, our anger, or even our adoration. But remember – God knows our thoughts before we even utter a word. God knows if we are angry or joyful or reflective. When we allow ourselves to be honest with God, we receive the blessing.
When we speak words of anger to God we are able to identify our feelings and ultimately give our worries back to him; trusting more and worrying less. We Praise – not because our God likes to sit smugly on a throne high above us all, basking in the sounds of the people’s adoration… God doesn’t need our Praise to be our God. We Praise because it is humbling, it tells our story and it reminds us whose we are.
Sometimes it is hard to put words behind our feelings towards God. (I speak from my own experience!) This is where scripture – particularly the Psalms – are so wonderful. The Psalms give us freedom to go to God and speak the words we feel. The Psalms help us cry out in despair, acknowledging God’s greatness at the same time! The Psalms help us praise – words offered up much like my daughter’s, squeezing God tightly and declaring He is the best ever!
Speak truth, live knowing God’s love in all circumstances, and experience peace, hope and joy!