Words and Thoughts; October 7, 2017


Psalm 19:14 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 Psalm, and especially the last eight verses of it, are dearly loved by many, and for good reason. David was certainly an anointed prophet/poet. As a wordsmith, this verse could be said to be at the foundation of his life. His words have indeed blessed countless numbers of people down through the centuries, but they arose from the thoughts of his heart. This is what Jesus was talking about when He said, “The things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean’. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” (Matthew 15:18-19) David later got caught on this very issue with Bathsheba, and that was not good at all. What we say is of great importance, but the condition of the heart that generates those words is of even greater importance.

I am a wordsmith myself, so this is very close to home. As a pastor, a counselor, and a school teacher, you could say that I make my living with words. My words have lasting value only to the degree they come from the heart of God. That might seem a strange thing to say in terms of my teaching Medical English, but even there my words and attitude need to reflect the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16) This morning we leave for the annual meeting of the Japan Cockayne Syndrome Network. Cathy and I are pretty central to the meeting, even though we weren’t involved in the planning nor are we responsible for running it, because Cathy founded it over 20 years ago as a support group for families of children with this fatal genetic problem. Every word we say will be received as having at least double the weight of things said by others. Cathy will be speaking, and I interpreting, at the session this evening, and I will be leading the memorial service on Monday for the children who have died. Our words need to be pleasing to God first, and only then to the people with whom we are speaking. If we will allow the Holy Spirit to use us, people will not only be comforted and encouraged, but will be drawn to faith themselves. At this point there is only one other Christian couple in the group, but there are others we feel are close to commitment. We can’t force anything, but we must hold ourselves fully available for God to express His love and grace through us, for the salvation of many and for His glory.

Father, thank You for the privilege of being Your mouthpiece. I do pray this prayer of David, and ask that You help me be more faithful in it than David was, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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