Why Did I Just Say That?On January 5, 2018 by Amy BurginReading Time: 5 minutes
We often ask the Lord, “Why?” but do we ask it of ourselves?
“Why do I want to say that?”
“Why DID I do that?”
“Why do I want to go over there?”
Unfortunately, it wasn’t until my late twenties before I learned to ask myself this simple and telling question, “Why?” “Why did I just say that?” “Why am I thinking this?” “Why am I doing this?”
As I answered those questions, I realized the condition of my heart:
This led me to a deep understanding of my great need for a savior from my own self. And so, this explanation of asking myself WHY I thought, said and did what I thought, said and did is an introduction to my testimony. How can we know Jesus as our personal Savior without understanding our own sinful state and need to be saved from it?
I never realized how Biblical it is to ask yourself such a question as “Why?” until I was 43 years old. I was preparing to share my testimony in a group setting and had sat down to think it through once again. All of a sudden, it hit me just how Biblical it is to ask ourselves WHY. It’s even God’s idea for us to ask the question of ourselves.
It was one of the first questions recorded that God asked of a man.
Before Cain murdered his brother Abel, God asked him, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?” (Genesis 4:6)
God knew the answer already, but he wanted to help Cain and lead Cain to examine himself by asking WHY.
To this day, asking myself WHY reveals root emotions that I sometimes do not realize are even driving me.
I’ll never forget the most heartbreaking, most revealing answer of all to a question of WHY I did what I did. This is a question the Lord prompted me on when I was pregnant with my 3rd child. He not only was kind enough to ask me, he was kind enough to answer for me as well.
As I was praying for my husband to be saved, the Lord asked me, “Why do you pray so fervently for your husband to be saved? Is it not because you want to be married to a ‘godly’ man? Could you not care less if he went to heaven or hell?”
Oh, it was true! The answer brought me to my knees. I was so very wretched. I was so empty of love. The Lord was so kind to ask and answer for me because it opened my eyes to the truth about myself, truth I knew but was blind to! Acknowledging this suppressed truth didn’t fill me with love, but it filled me with a desire to have love and my prayer changed. I confessed my sin and began to ask the Lord to fill me with love. He did!
I remember the very day I knew God answered my prayer! My husband had set his dirty sweats on the kitchen counter one day before he went to work. When I came across them, I didn’t scowl and grumble. I smiled because it meant he was mine. I picked them up and hugged them up close before I put them in the wash. I knew in that moment the Lord had answered my prayer.
I now had love for my husband and could pray FOR my husband’s well-being for my husband’s sake. I prayed fervently for my husband not because I desired to be married to a “godly” man, but because I loved him and I wanted him to have freedom, peace, joy and eternal life! It wasn’t long after that my husband also accepted Jesus as his savior and even led our family on a mission trip to Rwanda, but that’s another story!
If I can name the root cause of my thoughts, words or actions, if I am able to trace my behavior to a named reason, it helps put me back on my knees and helps me adjust. Asking WHY helps me detach from a strange root (a hidden, compelling motive) and reattach to my heart’s desire, Jesus Christ, The True Vine.
It’s important we not only ask ourselves Why but we also ask God Why. I don’t mean asking God why he does what he does, (we’re already pretty good at asking him that question). I mean asking God why we do what we do because we can deceive ourselves.
Proverbs 21:2 (NIV) “A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.”
God even answered the question for Cain in verse 7 “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?”
We’re meant to admonish our children with the question too. 1 Kings 1 describes Adonijah’s attempt to sneak the throne out from under his father and brothers. In verse 6, the Lord throws out a bit of information that seems almost random and unrelated to the plot line. The Lord tells us a little about David and Adonijah’s past, perhaps to help us as parents, “His father (David) had never rebuked him (Adonijah) by asking, ‘Why do you behave as you do?'”
As parents, we must ask this revealing question not only of ourselves but also of our children. Like God, we desire our children to be aware of what drives them, thus giving them the opportunity to be driven by Truth, by rightness. When I ask my teenage children, the answer I usually get is, “I don’t know.” They probably don’t know, so we can encourage them to ask God. He knows our motives. Psalm 44:21 (ESV) “…he knows the secrets of the heart.”
God desires to speak into our lives. He desires for us to know the roots of why we do what we do, so we can attach ourselves to the True Vine. Shall we ask him some questions now? These are the questions we don’t want to miss!
Lord, will you please bring to my mind emotions of anger, frustration, dread or fear I’m having in a particular area of my life?
Why do I feel that way?
What do you have to say about the situation?
Lord, will you please bring to my mind words I’ve recently said/texted/emailed or words I’m planning to say?
Why did I say that to him/her?
Why do I want to say that to him/her?
What do you have to say about those words?
Lord, will you please lead me and guide me to ask the children in my life this revealing question at just the right times?
Lord, in the coming days, will you please reveal to me the root reasons of why I do the things I do?
Whether we are closed or clueless, Lord, please lead us to honest answers about why we are doing what we are doing today. Detach us from those reasons that don’t align with you and attach us to you, the true vine. May our thoughts, word and actions be compelled by you.
Featured image is a photo by Ken Treloar on Unsplash.
Amy, keep on writing and sharing. These are rich and healing morsels of truth, well written and oh-so applicable!