"The willingness to be and to have just what God wants us to be and to have, nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else, would set our hearts at rest, and we would discover that the simpler the life the greater the peace." - Elisabeth Elliot in The Shaping of a Christian Family

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Right Thinking

I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. Psalm 101:2b-3a

The obvious thought that comes to mind when I read this part of Psalm 101 is about being careful about what TV or movies or computer stuff or books I allow to enter my mind and/or worthlessly use my time. But I want to suggest that we look a little deeper at these thoughts.

Integrity of heart = truthfulness, dependability, consistency of who you are on the inside with who you are on the outside. Besides not letting wrong stuff into my thinking and heart, I must not conjure up nor dwell on ungodly thoughts and attitudes which come from my very own sinful self. How about attitudes or criticism or disrespect or even disgust toward people while knowing that God calls us to love the unlovely? How about impatience with kids who've been told things literally hundreds of times while I expect them to be patient with each other and I expect God to be patient with me? 

And I notice the the psalmist says "integrity of heart within my house." We have an everpresent battle to fight against being more godly toward others than we are toward our own family in our home. Hypocrisy is strong when it comes to the tones of voice, the table manners, the sharing the preferred seating or toy, the polite words used for "just" family versus guests and friends.

Very convicting stuff. Are we true to God and to ourselves when we're putting on a front to please others, but being rude and pushy and lazy when it's "just" family? Is that integrity of the heart?

How about the concept of "worthless things?

Here are some ideas of what those things could be:

  • Flat-out sinful stuff - ie. pornography, anti-God stuff, things that expressly disobey God's commands, things that don't follow Philippians 4:8-9.
  • Stuff that disobeys God's commands and retards our growth and our fellowship with fellow believers - ie. gossip, slander, nursing our frustrations or hurts.
  • Useless time wasters - ie. things that waste time better spent on other things, like too much time at hobbies, computer games, TV or movies. These things may all be fine for some relaxation and merriment, but too much becomes foolishness.
  • Silly or disagreeable or discourteous stuff - ie. the belching and farting stuff that has become commonplace; crass, if not offensive, language; constant silly talk and actions; flirtatiousness.
I'll leave it to each of us to come up with examples of these things that might be found in our own lives and may God help us to be discerning and disciplined.

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