Many people think Christians should be more like Jedi: always in control of emotions, especially anger. I’m not sure why this is. We see anger in most biblical characters, including Jesus. In a recent conversation, Bono (lead singer for U2) and Eugene Peterson (translator of The Message) talk about being honest about emotions in prayer through a discussion on the psalms.
In the above, Peterson says, “The psalms are not pretty. They’re not nice. I think we’re trying for honesty.”
Bono responds by saying he sees a lot of dishonesty in Christian art. I would have to agree. There are so many times I have been to church (including this past week) where I stand in silence unable to sing finding the lyrics in direct competition with my experience.
The beauty of the psalms is the raw emotion on display. Anger, sorrow, despair, and joy. We all have these emotions from time to time but many for one reason or another do not feel they can honestly display them.
While there is a very real danger of allowing ourselves to wallow in or be controlled by our emotions, there is an equal danger of suppressing and denying them.
We want to encourage this realism in our articles on Off the Page. Some have conclusions. Others are reports from the middle of the struggle. Wherever you are, let’s all try to be honest with one another.
What are examples of honest art by Christians you appreciate?
Original video by Fuller Studio