Words and Meditations

Life Notes—October 31, 2013 

  “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

Psalm 19:14

I am often careless about the words I say.  There are times I wonder what I was thinking to have said what I said.  The fact is I was not thinking enough.  Part of my problem is I like to be witty.  A thought will spring into my head; it will seem clever and out it goes.  Once I saw a demonstration where a child squeezed a tube of toothpaste onto a plate.  Then he was told to put the toothpaste back into the tube.  Of course, that is impossible. The lesson was that our words are like the toothpaste.  They come out much easier than they go back in.  Indeed, we need to be careful not just in the words we utter, but also in how we choose to say them.

At times it seems words come into my head uninvited.  It is as if someone whispers words into my ear and they come out of my mouth.  Of course, that is not what happens.  Our words are a product of our meditations.  How we view people and interpret the events around us produce the words we say.  At least for me, there is a nearly continuous dialogue running in my head.  Sometimes that dialogue is meaningful and analytical.  Other times it is simply nonsense.  I am fully capable of working myself into an emotional frenzy, stemming from an internal dialogue having no basis in reality.  Sometimes I will project negative qualities onto others that simply are not factual.  When my internal dialogue begins with false or hurtful assumptions, the conclusions I draw will be equally false and hurtful.  A computer acronym comes to mind: GIGO.  It stands for: Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Psalm 19 contains a prayer I do well to remember daily.  If my words are not acceptable to God should I say them to another person?  Even more fundamental, the Psalm encourages us to examine the meditations of our hearts.  If our internal dialogue, our meditation, is not pleasing to God, should we allow it to fester?  Stopping and/or controlling the meditations of our hearts is not easy.  It requires the conscious focusing of our attention in specific directions.  It is similar to when we visit with others.  We cannot learn if we do all the talking.  We need to listen to learn.  Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God!”  When our internal dialogue runs rampant and uncontrolled we cannot listen to or learn from God or anyone else.  However, when the meditations of our hearts are pleasing to God, we need not worry about the words coming from our mouths.

Come home to church this Sunday.  Plant God-pleasing meditations into your heart.

Greg Hildenbrand

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