I think one of those really important Psalms in this area is Psalm 19. In the verses David reminds himself that Creation itself proclaims the nature & glory of its Creator in the wonder of daily life & in the rhythm of nature. He also declares that God’s word revives the soul when its flagging, brings wisdom to those who are humble, brings an inner joy to the heart, & guidance in the everyday decisions we have to make. He also states that reverence for God leads to purity & separation from the world’s culture & corrupt standards for living. He then says, ‘how can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?’ A good question which he answers in verse 14, ‘may the words of my mouth & the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, O Lord, my rock & redeemer.’
David knew that he needed help to protect his inner life & so prayed. He also reminded himself of the importance of i. ensuring that his words would not negatively affect himself – we all hear what we say after all, ii. that his inner thoughts would be pleasing to God, iii. that the mood music of his soul would be full of praise, thanksgiving & worship, & iv. that his fantasy life would be sanctified & honouring to God thus keeping his relationship with God open, honest & spiritually vibrant. David knew that if he focused on keeping these four elements right within, & praying about them, then it helped to protect him from hidden faults, from deliberate sins, & from the great sins that separate him from God.
I wonder what the mood music is like inside your life? Some people live with a very positive, constructive, faith-filled, godly inner voice which creates real power in their lives – others live with a negative, destructive inner voice which destroys faith & leads to powerlessness. Many live with a mixture of the two at work & so can be quite positive in most areas of their lives, but struggle & feel helpless in a few areas wherein they have lost confidence in their own ability to connect with God, or because of past trauma or bad experiences in that area.
One way to think of the power or nature of my inner voice is to think about how I react to challenges. Some initially flap around a bit & then begin to face the challenges with prayer & a can do attitude because that is how they respond inside; others run & hide burying their head in the sand hoping that the situation will change – ‘I can’t face it’ or ‘I can never overcome the challenge in that area.’ Some believe that only bad things happen to them because of a mixture of past experience, negative voices from authority figures in their lives, from their own fears in that area, & the negative voice within. Sadly many others blame other people for their woes pushing onto them the reason for their misfortune – blaming someone else for how they feel, react & the troubles that arise thus absolves themselves of any personal responsibility for what is happening, how they are reacting & the effect they are having on others.
We need to understand there is power in our words & in the words of our inner voice. Three verses in Proverbs are helpful: 12:18, ‘Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.’ Cutting remarks separate & bring division whereas wise words heal broken relationships, & help to bring healing within to the broken. Proverbs 15:28, ‘The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking;’ 18:21, ‘The tongue has the power of life & death, & those who love it will eat its fruit.’ Our words have such power – we either minister life by them or death. This is equally applicable to what we say inside our own head to ourselves. If we say, ’you are useless,’ ‘you always fail,’ ‘you never learn’ – then these produce fruit in keeping with the negative & destructive nature of the words.
Jesus said that we will give an account for our careless words on the day of judgement. The whole context of that passage is about the reaction of the Pharisees to Jesus’ ministry – they accused Him of operating in Satan’s power. Jesus stated clearly that their words were showing that they were not of God, ‘For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, & an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart’ (Matthew 12:34c-35).May God help each of
us to change a negative, fearful, destructive inner voice into a more positive, biblically inspired , faith-filled one which brings life, health & wholeness in Christ. Instead of careless words – may we be filled with wise words. Amen