Did you grow up in the church? I am blessed to say for most of my childhood, I was raised in the church. I attended two churches growing up; both were Methodist so we had a new pastor show up about every four years. I remember one pastor in particular who used to pray the same prayer each week before he would deliver his sermon. At the time I did not know he was quoting scripture, but as I grew up I came across his prayer in Psalm 19. Verse 14 was what we heard each Sunday: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
This morning I came across that verse and couldn’t help but think if we all lived our lives with that goal in mind, we would avoid a lot of trouble. We live in a sinful world and are constantly bombarded with images, sounds, and opportunities that do not please God. If we are to please God with our words and our thoughts we must be intentional about it. It will not just happen on its own.
Philippians 4:8 challenges us in this matter. “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.” This verse implies a choice. We must choose to focus on those things rather than the other. We must guard our minds [Philippians 4:6-7].
The mind is the launch pad for sin. Matthew 5:28 says if we lust after another in our mind it is the same as committing adultery. When we ponder sinful things in our minds, we can begin to minimize them and rationalize them and before we know it, we’re participating in them.
Psalm 19:13 says “Keep your servant also from willful sins…” I love the way the Message puts is: “Keep me from stupid sins.” We can avoid stupid sins by choosing to focus on the very things mentioned in Philippians 4:8. When we keep our mind pure, then the words that come out of our mouth will follow suit, thus leading us in good choices.
What will you choose to focus on today?