Combobulating the Discombobulated Soul


1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

3For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.    Psalm 32:1-4

Sin discombobulates.

Funny word, but its no joke!

We may not like that reality and so we redefine and create our own coverups to the sometimes vague, sometimes distinct, sense of discomfort accompanying personal responsibility for our attitudes and actions toward God, people, and His Creation.

The Bible reveals God, holy and pure; who does see us and who does judge us. “Silence” (32:3) on the part of David was not about agreeing with God regarding the reality of his sin. David’s silence was an attempt to

void God,

avoid God,

and escape responsibility for his transgressions, iniquities, and deceit.

There was grace from God even in David’s withering soul-health. The heaviness of soul as a product of God’s judgement generated confession:

5I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity;

I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”

and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.  Psalm 32:5

Thus David’s joyous beginning: Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

Praise God! “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14


If you are yelling…


1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  2The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. 3 The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. 4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.  Proverbs 15:1-4

If you are yelling, you are probably not listening. And the other person isn’t able to listen either. If you are party to such I must commend to you wisdom that roots out the anxiety, folly, and perverseness.

The mouth of the wise contrasted with the mouth of a fool:

Soft answers    –    Harsh words
Knowledge     –     Folly

Gentle tongue brings life   –   Perverseness breaks the spirit

In the middle of the short discourse on speech and conflict the teacher commends awareness of God: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.”

It reminds me of Paul’s pursuit of the Lord’s peace for a conflict among two leaders in the church of Philippi:

5Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

So next time in the midst of conflict remember: Jesus is here; anxiety ramps up irrationality disturbing the heart and mind; seek God and speak softly.

Because He Cares for You.

Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:5-7


Our anxiety may be connected to the good gifts God has given us except when its not. Then our anxiety, our sense of unease, in the world and in ourselves may be  connected directly with futile attempts at covering up our sin. Most often though our anxiety has to do with fear that we might lose something God has give us, that we might not perform well, that someone else is going to take from us what we value, or that we might not measure up. At those points the good things are becoming ultimate things.
Opportunity and Humility

Whatever its source, anxiety creates an opportunity for the disciples of Jesus. Anxiety is a call for humility. Humility recognizes the greatness of God for He exists without requirement of our acknowledgment. Humility seeks to enlarge rather than diminish the knowledge of His Presence among us. Anxiety diminishes the reality of God and His care for us. Anxiety taps into pride and seeks to enlarge our own greatness.


Without a Christ-informed view of God shaped by the Cross, even the knowledge of God’s greatness can create anxiety. But it is the Cross that affirms this confession, “He cares for you.” Humility enters into the space created by His mighty hand.


Casting anxiety upon Jesus is a prayerful process in which we lay our burdens (each item or matter of anxiety) down upon HIm. We recognize Jesus as our greatest gift. We realign our lives with the purposes of God for they are all that will prevail in a broken and fallen world. We lay claim to the promise of His competence, His acceptance, and His grace towards us. We trust Him and receive His peace. We are then empowered by His Spirit, with the assurance of our citizenship in His Kingdom, to lean into this world as it is and love.



Liberate us from our anxieties so we can…


That was the prayer of a student in my 3+ group yesterday. The cry of those simple words resonated in my heart and mind. I immediately sensed God’s presence and the promise of His Word for this desire.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” John 14:1

“It is I; do not be afraid.” John 6:20

“No one can serve two masters… You cannot serve God and money. Therefore I tell you do not be anxious about your life… Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:24, 25, 32, 33.

As I reflected further on this “karios moment,” I have become aware that often my  liberation from anxiety is found in process; is not a static condition; and must be renewed. In fact the stirred up or troubled mind could be the very work of the Spirit of God leading me into deeper trust and reliance on Him, healing of my wounds, new connections with my community, and participation in Jesus’ mission.

The anxious mind is definitely preoccupied with worries of the past, present, and future. But it is not purposeful. It paralyses me.

This is why the prayer affected me so profoundly. “Liberate us from our anxieties so we can…” You fill in the blank. You know what the Lord has put before you as responsibilities and opportunities to grow, learn, lead, and love. I hope this will become your prayer too. “Oh Heavenly Father, liberate me from my anxieties so I can ________________.”


I’m so humble…

Scripture:  1 Peter 5:6-7

6Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.


“Humble yourselves” is a choice.

As a follower of Jesus humility is a choice made with a prevailing view of life and all the pressures we face that says God is above all and that His timing is right.  See vs. 6

Choosing humility doesn’t mean we ignore reality, rather the cues that create anxiety become cues for faith — for us to trust Him, “To cast our anxieties on him” because He cares for us!


I’m so humble, except when I’m not getting my way.  Ha!  Peter’s audience was a group under increasing pressure because of their faith in God and identification with Jesus.  They were having to wait for relief.  When I am under pressure does it cue up faith? Do I somehow believe God has forgotten me?  or Do I revert to a twisted view of God that is not consistent with the Gospel?   Anxiety can paralyze us from doing what we must do.  And anxiety can create compulsive and frantic behaviours.  Being busy or going into hiding may not be actions of faith.  But they could be.

The first action of Gospel inspired faith in Jesus when the pressures of life come screaming at us is to pray: to audibly cast our anxieties on Him, in a declaration of His faithful care.


Heavenly Father, Thank you for the grace to trust that you care for me.  When the pressures of life scream at me, let me learn the new habit of humility: to prayerfully trust you with my issues and to declare your care for me.  I trust that you will direct me and those with me to keep in step with what your Spirit is doing here and now for the glory of your Son and His Kingdom.  AMEN.