Welcome to Day #5 of the Psalms Series!
I am happy to introduce you to Sabra today. Besides having a beautiful name, Sabra has a beautiful spirit. She is encouraging, honest and her love for Jesus and His Word shines through in her writing and interactions.
Sabra Penley is a simple gal who adores the Lord Jesus, loves her husband, cherishes her two kids, and strives to live life fully…one day at a time. You’ll often find her going for a walk, hanging out on the patio in the morning with a mug of coffee and a good read, or taking care of all things home. Writing is a new calling for Sabra, born out of the dark trenches of her husband’s recent life-changing illness and God’s amazing provision. Encouraging others and sharing the truths of God’s Word is her joy. She’d love for you to join her journey as she shares what God is teaching over at Simply- A Blog of Life in Christ and on Twitter @SabraPenley
Take a few minutes to read Psalm 101
“I will be careful to lead a blameless life…”
– Psalm 101:2
A few years ago I indulged in a guilty pleasure. An awful term, I know. In fact if the world says something is guilty, that should be a big red flag!
Anyway, I got caught up in watching some “reality” shows in which the drama of hostilities between people was the theme. Let’s just say these shows involved wealthy housewives and a lot of worldly endeavors. I don’t even know why they appealed to me. Wasting my time watching something like this was bad enough, but it was the effect of inviting them into my mind that got my attention.
One morning I was lying in bed, my mind still fuzzy from sleep and still dreaming somewhat. Out of nowhere I was rudely awakened by the f-word. WHAT?! Where did THAT come from? This is not a word that has ever been used by the mouths in my home. Horrified, I realized it had come from my own mind. It wasn’t said aloud, but it very well could have been.
Later that morning, I was reading my Bible and these words jumped out at me: “I will walk in my house with a blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me; men of perverse heart shall be far from me. I will have nothing to do with evil” (Psalm 101:2-4). GUILTY!
Oh yes, the Holy Spirit convicted me big time!
No flesh-and-blood person came into my home speaking this vile language. I wasn’t even around people who used the word. No, this word came into my home because I invited it there. The only place it had been heard was on my TV. Of course, it had been bleeped out. But I could tell exactly what they were saying. Every bleep registered as that curse word in my mind. Over and over and over again. Day after day.
No wonder I heard this word come out of my own head, if not my own mouth (and that would have been the next step).
I was eating a steady diet of garbage— anger, brawling, slander, malice, envy, hatred, cursing, betrayal, greed, self-absorption, lying, and on and on.
The bombardment of ungodly living was having a negative effect on my heart, as the garbage inside piled up.
The people and characters I watched may not have been invited to physically walk through my door, but the effect, of allowing them to act out their sinfulness in front of me, on screen, was as profound as seeing it fleshed out in my home.
They say, “Garbage in—garbage out.” At some point, what we see and hear moves from being just in our heads to being in our hearts. It clings to us, as Psalm 101:3 says.
God has made it clear that living a blameless life takes determination to follow His ways. In this psalm, we are given the instruction to be careful…watchful…aware. When we see evil, in any form, we are to put it to silence and cut it off. Hit the mute button. Turn off the TV. Walk away. Separate ourselves from it.
But just getting rid of the ugly isn’t enough. Psalm 101:6 says, “My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me.”
We must constantly look upon what is good…set God’s Word before us every day. We must look to Him whose walk is blameless—the Lord Jesus Christ. And His example—His holiness, His faithfulness—will minister to us.
Erase the evil…embrace the good.We want our homes to reflect God’s goodness. We want them to be places of peace and harmony and filled with love.
Is that what we invite in?
What we bring into our homes invades our minds and eventually our hearts. And what is in our hearts will come out our mouths and dictate our actions.
Luke 6:45 says, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of the heart his mouth speaks.”
Psalm 101 makes it clear that leading a blameless life takes careful consideration of all we do. We have to make the effort to turn away from anything evil and focus on what is good.
Guilty pleasures should have no place in our lives. Instead, we must pursue Godly pleasures that will fill our hearts and homes with all that is good.
Guilty pleasures fill the heart with garbage. Godly pleasures sweep the heart clean.
Heavenly Father, forgive us for the times we have placed evil before our eyes and invited it into our homes. O Lord, help us to pursue those things that are pleasing to You and will allow us to lead blameless lives. May our focus be on what is good that You will fill our hearts with peace and love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Growing in Grace,
1. Reread Psalm 101 and ask God to work its truth into your mind and heart as you reflect upon it.
2. Sometimes it can feel like God wants to ruin our fun. But, when we remember His character and how He is good and knows what’s best, we can trust His heart and His Word. Is there a vile thing that you have been engaging with, but need to avoid? Ask God for help with this.
3. Take a few moments and talk to God about what He may be stirring up in your heart. Don’t rush through this, but ask Him to help you see and hear what He wants to reveal to you individually through this passage and this post.