2 Samuel 19:1–43; 2 Peter 3:1–13; Psalm 145:1–21
I grew up in a family of stoics. Through example, my siblings and I were taught to keep our emotions to ourselves. Displays of excessive affection or sorrow were regarded with some suspicion, and this played out in our expressions of faith.
Psalm 145 directly challenges such a mindset. The psalmist expresses why confessing God’s faithfulness is so important, especially to those we influence: “One generation will laud your works to another, and will declare your mighty deeds” (Psa 145:4). God’s mighty deeds were His redemptive acts—especially the exodus from Egypt. His greatness (Psa 145:6), His righteousness (Psa 145:7), His glory, and His power (Psa 145:11, 12) were expressed.
Our praise should be centered on God’s ultimate restorative work through His Son—an act that has brought us back into intimate communion with Him. We can bring our sorrows and failures to Him: “Yahweh upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down” (Psa 145:14). He hears our desires and our cries when we call upon Him in truth (Psa 145:18–19). Calling on God in truth requires that we honestly examine our own emotions (Psa 145:18). When we bring our emotions to God, we should do so in either confession or praise.
James emphasizes that free expression isn’t always a value. Since we stumble in many ways, loose talk can be dangerous and destructive in communities (Jas 3:2–6). Both speaking and silence require wisdom. When we are quick to talk about God’s work of redemption and His work in us, our words bring Him honor. What better reason to be mindful of how our expressions affect those around us—especially those who look up to us.
How are you using expressions to honor God and uplift others?
Rebecca Van Noord
 Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.