“Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14, a verse quoted each morning of my elementary school days, right after the Pledge of Allegiance. Scripture committed to memory but not taken to heart. A few years ago, I began to pray this in earnest each morning. While the tongue is difficult to tame, the meditations of the heart seem even more so to me. How many times have I fumed or harbored hurt feelings with a smile on my face, while under the surface, the “meditations of my heart” have been nasty. Pretty easy to hide. Except from the Lord. I may not think I am hurting anyone, as long as the words don’t fly, but oh, how it strains my fellowship with God Himself. He loves both me AND the one I am stewing about, and He hates the way my pent up emotions imprison my heart. When roots of bitterness spring up, the weeds that grow are pure destruction…mostly to myself. Until the past few years, I had never thought about the verses just before verse 14 very much.
Psalm 19: 12-13 “Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.”
I need help to see my errors in thought, word and deed. I also need His grace to pour over me to cover my hidden faults. One of the greatest hidden faults in my life is pride. Not the obvious kind. But the kind where I get my feelings hurt easily. As much as I really hate to admit it, most of the ugliness I struggle with stems from hurt feelings, and many times, hurt feelings stem from pride. Not always. There are times when we are justifiably hurt. And some of us are just a little more sensitive than others. God made us with great variety and He knows we’re all wired differently. But when hurt feelings stand in the way of deeper fellowship with Him and with others, it is a problem. Proverbs 16:18 says that “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Pride is such a lure. It is the little bit of nasty that causes us to be easily hurt and bitter. It causes us to feel justified in withholding forgiveness. It makes us quick to anger and slow to say sorry. And pride is sin. It always hurts us and our relationship with God and it often hurts the people we love most as well.
Just as we all have our favorite sins…you know, the ones we don’t even want to call sin? I guess we all have our own brands of pride. Until the Lord showed me otherwise, I always thought I was an extraordinarily humble person. Kind of cracks me up now to thing that I took pride in my humility. (Still do sometimes. Once again, He’s still working on me!)
So now, I try to dwell more on the sort of things mentioned in Philippians 4:8 “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right and pure, and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” And most of all, I try to remember to take my my feelings to Him first. Talking about some things to another human being often just fuels the fire and makes things worse. So I turn to the healer of my heart, the lover of my soul, and I ask Him to heal my hurts and soothe my feelings. Sometimes I still fume and pout. Sometimes the meditations of my heart are not what they should be. But I know He is faithful to help me with whatever I am feeling. He has taught me to forgive when the one who hurt me is not sorry, and to move on when the one who caused my pain is unaware. And when I let Him be my everything, the petty little things just kind of fade away. My God’s just awesome like that.