Every Day Light
The dangers of denial
"Surely you desire truth in the inner parts '" (v. 6)
For reading & meditation:
We are looking at the Beatitudes as containing the principles which enable us to experience good mental and spiritual health. I cannot think of anything more psychologically in harmony with the best thinking of today's social scientists than the words of Jesus: "Happy are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." We would not be taking any undue liberty with the text of Matthew 5:4 if we translated it thus: "Congratulations to those who are willing to face and feel sorrow, for they will discover in and through the comfort that I impart to them a new ministry and a new joy." A mentally and spiritually healthy person is someone who is willing to face and feel sorrow, and recognise that it can be made to deepen one's life - not devastate it. You are familiar, I am sure, with the terms "neurotic" and "psychotic". A "neurotic" is someone who is afraid to face reality, while a "psychotic" is someone who is unaware of reality. If we draw back from being willing to face and feel any emotion that rises up within us, then the denial of this feeling will have negative results within our personality. A woman once said to me: "I have problems with the second Beatitude because I don't know how to mourn; I am too happy to mourn." As we talked, it became clear to her that it wasn't so much that she didn't know how to mourn, but that she didn't want to mourn. She was afraid to face or feel any negative emotions - grief, sorrow, and so on - and thus, despite her claim to happiness and lightheartedness, she was a stunted soul.
Loving heavenly Father, how wonderfully You help me to put my finger on my need. Help me, I pray, to be willing to feel and face my emotions, and show me that when You are by my side I need be afraid of nothing - myself included. Amen.
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