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Monday, May 11, 2015

A Good Reason To Spend More Time In Bed?

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 O God, my vindicator!
Answer me when I call!

When I was distressed, you set me free;
now have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.

Understand that Adonai sets apart
the godly person for himself;
Adonai will hear when I call to him. 

You can be angry, but do not sin!
Think about this as you lie in bed,
and calm down. (Selah)
from Psalm 4:1-4 (from the Complete Jewish Bible)

According to a lot of pop psychology the first and best thing to do when you're angry is to ventilate and get all your frustration out, yelling or breaking things if that helps you feel better.

Ancient Hebrew wisdom may point us in another direction. The above psalm, a part of our recent Bible study at church, suggests that a better way might be to take a time out and take to our bed. In other words, reflect on it and sleep on it. 

Then in the morning, if we still need more help to get over whatever is bothering us, we might consider other options. These could include expressing our feelings in some journaling (as the psalmist is doing here!), finding someone to confide in or to pray with, or going directly to work things out with a person with whom we have a problem (as taught by Jesus in Matthew 18:15-20).

But no need go off on someone, or to take it out on any of your china. First try going to bed and see if that won't help you cool off and calm down.

According to the last verse of this "Evening Psalm" (v.8), the psalmist sees this working well:  

I will lie down and sleep in peace;
for, Adonai, you alone make me live securely.


Here's another post on the psychology of  anger.
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