Sunday, August 21, 2011

Life Lessons - Psalm 19:14

Because I spent many years using my words and mouth in an ungodly way, I am super sensitive to what I call "mouth issues". Psalm 19:14 is a daily prayer for me. It's a power verse that I MUST pray each morning. It simply says,

"May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."

Part of my past mouth issue had to do with a lack of a filter. It wasn't that I was cursing or speaking inappropriately. I was just being "in your face", often times with scripture to back up what I would say. I could speak the truth, it was the "in love" part I struggled with.

In love. God began to show me that I was wrong. My in your face, outspoken harshness was wrong. It caused hurt feelings and instead of showing people to Him, it repulsed them and pushed them away from God. He gave me a list of names and I had to go apologize for my words. One occurrence had taken place several years before and I wasn't even sure the person would remember who I was. But, I did it. It was the hardest e-mail I have ever typed. (The offense had been in a letter, so God gave me permission to apologize in the same manner.)

Another issue with my mouth was the amount of time it was engaged. :) You can ask my Mom and she will testify to the fact that I love to talk. Non-stop. My poor sister had to endure it while we shared a bedroom. Talk. Talk. Talk. And really, a lot of what I talked about was...nothing. I wasted so much air! :)

But God's word. I began to fall in love with His word like never before and as Psalm 119:130 says it brought light to what needed to change and gave understanding to this simple mind.

I love what verses 130-133 say.

The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. I open my mouth and pant because I long for your commandments. Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your way with those who love your name. Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.

Verse 131 says I open my mouth and pant. If my mouth is open and panting...I can't talk. My mouth, going non-stop (even about good things) kept me from hearing those around me. My mind was so focused on what I was going to say next that I didn't give those around me an opportunity to speak and even worse....it kept me from hearing God. Being quiet was a foreign concept and my listening skills were seriously poor.

Then came Ecclesiastes 5. Lord have mercy it just about did me in. I'll just share it from the Message because, well...it's the translation that stung the most.

Verses 2-5a say,

Don't shoot off your mouth, or speak before you think. Don't be too quick to tell God what you think he wants to hear. God's in charge, not you—the less you speak, the better. Overwork makes for restless sleep. Overtalk shows you up as a fool. When you tell God you'll do something, do it—now. God takes no pleasure in foolish gabble.

Why am I sharing this with you? Because last week, I had an opportunity to discuss this very personal lesson with one of my children. Not because of something they had done, but because of something they were dealing with. I could see myself in the offender. It was an opportunity to talk about holy words and using our mouths to bring glory to God. And that was what we did.

And then I blew it. In an attempt to be funny, I tweeted/Facebooked something I should not have. I knew as soon as I had hit "send" on my phone I shouldn't have. But I did not immediately remove it. The longer I sat there,and watched the comments the sicker I became. I could feel the Holy Spirit stirring in me, reminding me of the conversation I had with my child just a few hours before. Conviction.

I removed the post and if I had not been in a public place (in a dress) I would have been flat on my face. In my mind I was. I thanked God that it was his kindness that led me to repentance. And then I came home and looked up the passage that phrase is found in. Once again, here it is in the message.

Romans 2:2-4

Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn't so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you've done.

You didn't think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he's such a nice God, he'd let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he's not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.


Tonight, I am so sad that I grieved the heart of God. Mad that I fell into that old trap. At the same time, I'm overwhelmed at the kindness and forgiveness of my Savior.

If anything good came of last weeks situation, it was the reminder that we are all in process. The minute I think I would "never" slip into an old habit, is the minute I'm probably going to trip. But His kindness...

Always leads us to repentance. Repentance to restoration.

And restoration? That is what I am after.

3 comments:

HisTreasuredPossession said...

I probably didn't see what you post (or perhaps I did *and* commented but I can't remember now) but rest assured there have been PLENTY of times I've deleted something that I knew I shouldn't have said. Always encouraged to know I'm not the only one and thankful to hear these words from you today.
love,
rachel

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

I have SOOOOO been there...with my mouth, my attitude, so been there. And God is soooooo faithful to forgive and restore. He doesn't let us forget it either. That certainly helps restrain us the next time. Love your heart, sweet friend.

Life is short but God is sweet said...

So convicting to my heart. Thank you for sharing.