Have you ever wondered what to share, how to share or even if you should share something? I have.
We see this paradox in Asaph. He authored Psalm 73 with a conflicted heart. He admits to being in a slippery spot in his faith. What he saw in the lives of others made him feel as though his belief in God had little consequence.
“My feet had almost stumbled; my steps had nearly slipped,” he said. (Ps. 73:2 NKJV)
If you are acquainted with Asaph’s story, you know what happened. If you aren’t or don’t remember, Psalm 73 is well worth the read. Asaph “went into the sanctuary of God” (verse 17) and everything changed.
As much as I love that part, I have always missed a previous verse leading up to it, an obscure piece of Asaph’s struggle. Asaph, in hindsight recognized how wrong it would have been for him to voice his doubts about God. Its effect would have been tragic.
“If I had said, ‘I will speak thus,’ I would have betrayed the generation of your children.” Ps. 73:15 ESV
A slippery slope of comparative injustice coiled within Asaph. He compared his life with the wicked. As a result he began to envy their lives and think things about God that were untrue.
Asaph hit a boiling-over point in his frustration and bitter resentment. His personal crisis, had he given it voice, could have spread to others like cancer.
Asaph is saying, “My message would have been deceitful, bāḡaḏ.” The original Hebrew indicates dealing which is deceitful, treacherous, or unfaithful.
“…I would have betrayed the generation of your children.” Other translations say, “been untrue” and “offend against.”
“Children” refers to son, grandson, or member of a group. Asaph’s silence was far-reaching in its spiritual consequence. Sharing his doubts would have also had wide ramifications.
When the time was right, Asaph’s testimony attested to God’s faithfulness.
We are a community who need one another. We should share burdens, encourage and help each other face and overcome temptations and trials.
Paul the Apostle admonishes us in his letters to build up one another, edify, and speak the truth in love. The Bible is full of examples that show times we must speak up.
However there is also a need for shut-your-mouth discipline, and the Spirit-filled discernment to know when to openly speak and when to wait.
Asaph’s complaint in the first part of the chapter questioned what God had revealed through his law. He incorrectly focused through a human lens. His initial turmoil showed self-pity. The core of his thoughts and emotions centered on himself. Had he vented his frustrations then, he would not have proclaimed truth, edified others, or expressed his own humble need.
There have been many times in my life when I’ve had an icky feeling of having said too much, of wishing I had kept my mouth shut or thinking it would have been better had I not shared what I did. Even in the safest context, what to share and what not is tricky.
These questions may help you consider when sharing is appropriate.
- Why am I sharing?
- Is it God-honoring?
- Is it true?
- Am I accurately portraying God?
- Is it coming from a place of pride or humility?
- Will it build up the body?
Asaph recognized his close call with betrayal or untruth would have been disloyal to God’s justice and His past actions. The Psalmist broke his silence on the other side of God’s inward transformation in his life, and it honored God.
When I consider my children, grandchildren, and “the generation of God’s children,” I desperately want to portray Him accurately through my history.
Honesty is in the DNA of the Psalms. The authors unveiled a world troubled with grief and pain, yet balanced with truth. They admitted doubt and confessed sin. Their witness spoke of a faithful God able to quell doubt and carry His children close to His heart from one generation to another.