Fishing for sympathy - Hope 103.2

Fishing for sympathy

By David ReayFriday 25 Oct 2013LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Psalm 142:1-2

1-2 I cry out loudly to GOD,
   loudly I plead with GOD for mercy.
I spill out all my complaints before him,
   and spell out my troubles in detail. (THE MESSAGE)

One way to get attention and sympathy is to tell people how badly things are going for us. If we feel starved for such attention and sympathy,we can even exaggerate our plight in order to ensure others focus on us. We can thus become identified with our difficulties,adopting the role of victim and perversely basking in the spotlight of our real or imagined problems.

This is not to deny the validity and need of sharing our burdens with others. We don’t just put on a happy face and pretend all is well. The point is that we don’t dwell on such difficulties,we don’t define ourselves by our problems. We don’t become people who are forever complaining about how hard life is for us. We are not motivated by fishing for sympathy or attention as we share our adversity. We may share some burdens but also share some blessings. We remain sensitive to the needs and burdens of others and not be preoccupied with our own.

By contrast,we can pour out our hearts to God. As the Psalmist says,we spill out our complaints to him. Even so,we dare not lose perspective and so resort to a complaint mentality. Rather we share what is on our hearts,trusting God will sift it all and understand the spoken and unspoken concerns. We don’t have to persuade God to love us by telling him how hard things are for us. His love for us is constant and not altered by our circumstances. We don’t have to plead for his attention: we already have it.

David Reay