Holding it back
I said to myself, “I will watch what I do and not sin in what I say. I will hold my tongue when the ungodly are around me.” But as I stood there in silence—not even speaking of good things—the turmoil within me grew worse. The more I thought about it, the hotter I got, igniting a fire of words: “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is. Psalm 39:1-4
From the text, David had resolved not to say anything, not to complain to others about his suffering. This was also what Job did when he was plagued with suffering. “In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God” (Job 1:22). Even when his wife urged him to curse God, Job remained firm in his resolve not to complain and blame God. “Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad? So in all this, Job said nothing wrong” (2:10). When we are going through trials in life, there is a temptation to blurt out our discouragement and frustration especially in the presence of the unbelievers. This could lead the unbeliever to use the occasion to pour out their scorn on the suffering believer and raise doubts about the goodness of God. Though keeping it in within him had led David to be in turmoil, then he realized that life is short and spending it in complaining and grumbling will be futile. He decided to call on God and bring his burden before Him. “Hear my prayer, O Lord! Listen to my cries for help! Don’t ignore my tears” (v. 10). David affirmed his faith to God for he realized that there is no one apart from God in which he can place his hope. “And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you” (v. 7). Before your mouth opens to express your frustration around people, think first and weigh if what you will be saying is necessary or needless. Will it be wholesome or dreadful? Be reminded that constant complaining might lead to not finding real friends.
Noel De Guzman