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January 06, 2010

i must tell Jesus

A few weekends ago when I walked into church, the congregation was singing I Must Tell Jesus. It is not a hymn that I grew up singing, but the words have resonated with me. The title summarizes a lesson that the Lord is teaching me.

These two things have been hard for me to grasp:
  1. Some things need to stay between me and Jesus. Telling others will not edify.
  2. Discussing my situation with another human is sometimes helpful, but I should do so only after I have brought it to Jesus.
Why it is so hard to bring things to Jesus first? I run to a family member. I phone or message a friend. I blog. What should I say to my boss? What do you think that boy means when he says this? I am frustrated with so-and-so, what should I do? And Jesus, who I claim is my closest friend, doesn't hear about it from me until I've exhausted the obvious human options. Too often He's my last resort.

Maybe I call on humans because we are at the same level. They are visible. I follow their thought processes. When I talk to a human, I can cloak things in spiritual words. Private details can be disclosed as prayer requests. Because the listener is my friend, and only has heard my side of the story, I can garner his or her pity.

I must tell Jesus. So why don't I? One reason is because I haven't been fellowshipping with Him throughout the day, so when a matter comes up, my heart isn't really where it should be for talking to the Lord. He knows that, so things are awkward. Also, Jesus' words are hard for my proud heart to bear. No cotton candy or undeserved pats on the head. His Word cuts right through my pride and leaves me with no excuses. His message is repeatedly that I must confess my pride and choose the humble path, the path He chose. Turn the other cheek. Forgive as I have forgiven you. Lay your life down. Bear each other's burdens. Only speak what is helpful. Stop looking to others and look to Me!

I want to learn to talk to Him first. What peaceful days those would be, if I could simply lay my concerns before the Almighty. As the hymn says, not only does he share my burdens, but only He is truly able to help me at the deepest level. While humans have helped me to take a step in a Biblical direction, God's Word does so more often. When I can agree with Him about my sin, He gives victory over it. "I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus! Jesus can help me, Jesus alone."

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