It's summer here in the United States, and since my husband & I are both teachers, we are off-duty for a couple of months.
Which means NO ALARM CLOCKS :)
Yet, as is my custom, I rise early.
During the school year, I get up at 4:30 every morning.
And even though I CAN sleep late during the summers...I generally don't.
This morning my eyes opened early again...and I got up. I was rested and ready for the day.
I spent some time in prayer.
And then as I was closing that prayer time...a scripture popped into my head.
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14
And it gave me pause.
I grew up hearing this scripture.
I love this scripture.
It is stored somewhere deep in my spiritual bones.
But today I looked at it and thought..."Hey...this is backwards. David got the order wrong. We Think and THEN we Speak. He got it out of sequence."
lol...And the very next thought was..."No he didn't. He hit the nail right on the head."
And the reason that I say that David hit this nail right on the head is this:
When we speak before we think, THAT'S when we tend to say the wrong things.
This scripture "speaks" to every one of us today.
It is basically saying..." Father, Please let my words and my thoughts be good words and thoughts."
There are many other scriptures that "speak" about speaking. Here are just a few:
"Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
keeps himself out of trouble."
"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."
James 1:19-20 "Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God."
The bottom line is this:
-We are accountable for our thoughts and our words.
-It works better when we think before we speak.
-But if we don't do that, then we need to make sure that what we DO say is not offensive to God or to others.
And the way we make sure that nothing untoward comes out of our mouths has to do with what David mentions in the 14th verse of the 19th Psalm that was quoted earlier in this post.
It has to do with the Meditations of the Heart.
-Since the human brain controls the human body...
-And since humans are pretty much incapable of doing anything unless some brain cell sends a spark to another brain cell...
-Then our brains must function like a giant LIBRARY of possible choices, from which come every thought or word, that we have ever had, or ever will have.
It is important to note that we can ALWAYS put new material IN, but we can NEVER seem to take material OUT.
-So, if our brains function as our giant LIBRARY of options...
-THAT means that the material that we stock our LIBRARY with is really important.
Everything we spend time focusing on, studying, thinking about, watching, reading, or experiencing...gets placed somewhere in that giant LIBRARY that sits on top of your neck.
And now it's time to focus this discussion down to where we live and breathe.
-Just exactly what DO you meditate upon?
-Just exactly what DO you spend your time thinking about?
-WHAT concepts are you actively and passively stocking your LIBRARY with?
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The answer to these questions will very likely reveal itself in the form of the comments that come out of your mouth in your unguarded moments.
-What do you say outloud when you accidentally hit your thumb with a hammer?
-Or have a fender-bender?
-Or shatter a glass on the kitchen floor?
Have you ever thought about the fact that it is impossible to "cuss" unless you first heard and filed those cusswords in your LIBRARY.
If we surround ourselves with those who speak and act in ways that are not aligned with Christ...our LIBRARIES are overrun with unGodly responses...which will inevitably lead to ruin.
And unGodly responses have a way of revealing themselves don't they! lol
Like when you hit your thumb with a hammer?
Or have a fender-bender?
Or shatter a glass on the kitchen floor?
As it turns out, UnGodly thoughts and words are alot like ugly weeds growing right in the middle of our LIBRARIES.
Christians must be vigilant about what we pay attention to, think on, and participate in, lest the weeds become the main crop that is growing there.
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or
praiseworthy--think about such things. Philippians 4:8
This kind of thinking will keep the weeks out. But just keeping the weeds out is not enough. We are called to purposefully transform our minds.
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2
And God did not leave us in the dark about how we are to about doing this.
We renew our minds by practicing The Fruits of The Spirit.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23
I leave you with the capstone of this post:
-We need to make sure we are vigilant about protecting the purity of our Minds.
-So that our thoughts and our words will continue to grow more & more Christ-like.
And since all of us know what it feels like to say something that God does not approve of, I really GET why David asked for help in the order that he did...words first, thoughts second.
It is a wise thing to ask God for help in guarding our words and our thoughts.
And It's a lesson for us all.