Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spoken Words that Defile Us; Obtaining True Joy in Life

    Today's Reading:
  • Matthew 15:1 - 28
  • Psalm 19:1 - 14
Read Bible Passages Online

Matthew 15:1 - 28
Today's reading told a story of how Jesus scolded the Pharisees for misleading God's people.  Jesus accuses them of using the Torah as an excuse to violate commandments.  The example given was of using financial gifting to God as a means to avoid financial responsibility for one's parents and thus violating the commandment to honor thy father and thy mother.  In verse 15:4, Jesus reminds us that the penalty for not honoring your parents is to be put to death.  I realize the penalty for breaking any of the commandments is death, and I do not yet know enough about the subject to know if the Jesus was referring to instant death (like a stoning) or as death because we are sinners. 

Jesus then goes on to say that it is the things that come out of our mouths that defile us, for what comes out of our mouths comes from our hearts.  What comes out of our mouths show our true character.  What comes out of our mouths shows our inner being.

We will all have ungodly thoughts and feelings throughout our lives -- possibly many times a day.  It's how we react to those thoughts and feelings, the actions we take or don't take, the decisions we make, and the words that we allow to come out of our mouths that show our true nature and defile us.

How often do you say something you really don't mean?  Or say something just to hurt another person, because you know just how to push their buttons?  How often do you say something just because you are angry?  How often do you try to influence another person's emotions toward another person because of how you are currently feeling about that person?

The answer for me is too often.  If I want to grow closer to God (and truly, I do!) then I need to work on the things that come out of my mouth.  I need to think before I talk -- or write/text/IM/post to Facebook -- and I need to ask myself, will this defile me?   I have a long road ahead of me for this one, that's for sure!

Psalm 19:1 - 14
Psalm 19 is truly a beautiful Psalm.  The Psalm begins by stating that the Lord created the sun, the stars and the heavens.  The mere beauty and perfection of our universe shows that everything the Lord does is stunning and flawless, even when not a word is said.  Likewise, all the words God speaks to us, all the commandments He gives to us, all the wisdom He bestows on us -- all is beautiful and perfect, and we should revere in it.  The psalm concludes with a prayer that the Lord protect David from the deliberate and hidden sins in his heart, so that he can stay bathed in the glorious beauty of the Lord's glory.

I find everything about this Psalm to be beautiful and glorious, and a reminder that God's commandments to us are not a punishment to us, or set to restrict us from obtaining joy in life.  The exact opposite of that statement is true -- God's teachings is the key to obtaining true joy in our individual lives.  This is a joy that I am going to continue to strive to obtain, through all my shortcomings.

I am always astounded at how a singular or few bible verses can spark so many thoughts, emotions and questions in my person.  Thoughts enough that I could write and write and write on all the things that go through my mind and spirit as I read these words, yet never be finished.  What other book provokes so much thought through its entirety?

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