Recently Bono, from U2, was interview by Jim Daley, of focus on the family. They talked about spiritual matters since Bono is a follower of Jesus. During the radio interview, Bono made comparisons between biblical characters and music. “First of all,” he observed, “David’ s a musician, so I’m gonna like him. What’s so powerful about the psalms are, as well, as they’re being gospel and songs of praise, they are also blues. It’s very important for Christians to be honest with God, which often you know, God is much more interested in who you are than who you want to be.”
What is interesting to me is the fact the Bono recognized the value the laments in the Psalms. He calls these psalms “the blues.” Many of the Psalms of lament are written by David, who had his share of problems. Here is a little taste from Ps 13. “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? (1-2). Ps 86, 142 and 143 are some good examples of laments (or blues). Bono is right – we need to be honest with God. the psalms are not to just be read but pray. In so doing you will become honest before God. You will be real, since deep emotions, not just thoughts are expressed by David.
Two more quotes from the interview. Daley mentioned one of his favorite quotes from C. S. Lewis. “When a man is getting better, he understands more and more clearly the evil that’s left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understand his own badness less and less.” Bono replied, “Yeah, I might…that could turn up on the next U2 album, but I won’t give him or you any credit.” Bono evidently saw truth in Lewis’ statement. The more we grown in Christ, the more we see our need of God’s help. It is when we think we are doing a good job “spiritually” that we are in danger. It is so easy for men to get into “Sin management.”
Our spiritual life becomes more about what we are doing for God and how we are changing. But the ego is still front and center, directing our spiritual life rather then the Spirit of God. It is so hard to let go and let God do it in his way. That is why the psalms of lament are so good to read and pray over on a regular basis They deep us grounded in real life. God meets us there. He will not meet us in our illusionary efforts to be spiritual and acceptable to God. Remember David prayed, “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heat you, God, will not despise.” (Ps 51:17)