Let the words of my mouth…

Posted: January 9, 2012 in Thoughts from the Elders

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

These words jumped off the page at me this week. I’ve read them before, but why did they jump out at me this time? It was as if they were printed in 36-point bold and everything else was in it’s regular 12-point font.  I couldn’t figure it out for a while.  And then it hit me. But before I give the secret away, maybe I need to back up a bit.

Earlier in the week my kids had been complaining about what was on the lunch menu and something else (it was so trivial I can’t even remember). It was a teachable moment and we reminded our children that they have so much compared to their sponsored brother (through World Vision). He doesn’t even know what a video game is, doesn’t often have enough to eat and probably doesn’t have one soccer ball, much less four. Cole was incredulous that Eliseu Raul (that’s the little guy’s name) doesn’t have a soccer ball because every one of his friends has a soccer ball. In the world of a 5 and a half year old it’s a given that everyone has a soccer ball. But we assured him it was likely true and that in Mozambique little boys and girls don’t have the things we have here in the United States. It got through to them and they acknowledged that they shouldn’t complain about whatever it was that they were complaining about. I felt pride about my parenting prowess, until, that is, I read this verse.

So the proverbial brick on the head moment after reading this verse was when I realized the truth in that old addage, “monkey see, monkey do.” You see, not 20 minutes before my boys complained, I had been complaining about a couch. Yes, that’s right, a couch. And not just any couch: a $50 craig’s list couch. And while there may have been a certain amount of truth to it’s shortcomings, it’s functional, cheap and certainly more than what Eliseu’s family has in their little mud and thatch one-room hut in Africa. I’m embarrassed to say that my children were merely doing what they had witnessed their father doing. Ugh!

The real problem is not that the words about the couch weren’t true. The problem is that I allowed myself to get caught up and distracted by something as trivial and unimportant as a couch. Had I stopped for just a moment before I hastily spoke, I would have realized that my thoughts (and words) were unacceptable to God,  hurtful to Kelleigh, and a really poor witness to my kids.

But thanks be to God for his faithfulness. The Spirit put a magnifying glass on that verse and brought some things to light for me. I love that David concludes the verse with the words, “my rock and my redeemer.” They actually point back to what IS acceptable. That I am, in fact, redeemed, and that He is reliable, powerful, loving and faithful. He is my rock and my redeemer. He has saved me. If I teach my children nothing else in this life, I want it to be that He saves us and that we desperately need him for our salvation. He has made a way for us and we can trust and rely on Him. In light of that truth, many of the problems of this world, including our furniture problems, pale in comparison. So not only is meditating on what is acceptable a blessing to our redeemer, it’s also a blessing to us, for it brings about joy and gives our children (and everyone around us for that matter) proper perspective.

Father God, please forgive me for losing perspective this week. I ask you to bless me with the courage and strength to dwell on the truth and what is pleasing and acceptable to you. May the meditation of my heart and the words that proceed from my lips be acceptable to you, my rock and my redeemer.

Written by Mitch Ratzlaff (Elder in Training)

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