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 ESV)
This verse is often recited by those who are about to deliver a sermon or homily, and we often hear it (and even mean it) as, “Lord, let this stuff I’ve thought up to say at this time be sanctified by you.”
I think there is more to this verse than that, however. I have come across it a few times in recent weeks in my reading and it is occurring to me that it is not primarily about helping those who preach to declare the word rightly, as important as that is. No, it addresses the words within us and the words that come out of us constantly.
What are you thinking? What do you say to yourself? What images, memories, thoughts, desires and ideas “float” through your mind in the course of a day. Are they acceptable in the sight of God?
What comes out of your mouth throughout the day? Even in places where no one else hears it, like the car, the cubicle, and under your breath? Are those words acceptable in the sight of God?
Our “self talk” matters. It matters because it shapes us. What we listen to effects who we are and how we think about ourselves, our God, and the world around us. We listen to what is “going on in our head” more than anything else.
I am trying to be conscious of these words in my heart, and the ones that are on my lips–especially when no one is around–that I may capture them, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, see them sanctified to be pleasing in the sight of God.