Psalm 86:11 – Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. (NIV)
The Holy Spirit impressed this verse upon my heart when I first asked Christ into my life. More recently, as I have been asking Him to reveal more of my inner self to me — the good, the bad and the ugly — He has brought this verse back to my mind.
Truth — it's a big little word, and it tends to get our attention.
The Holy Spirit confronted me one day this spring about my version of truth, that is, my own self-talk — the tape that plays in my mind whenever someone has hurt my feelings. As I relive the situation, I hash it out, and hash it out again, and then again. I can do that for minutes, an hour, most of the day, before I ever stop long enough to hear the words softly spoken in my mind, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10a NIV). It is so hard to hear God's still, small voice over the raging of hurt emotions.
What is my self-talk? It's my level playing field, my home-ice advantage, where, with silver-tongued eloquence, I can silently tell that other person how right I am and how wrong they really are, and I can think of all the things that I should have said. But as big as this field is (I can spend hours there), it is also small — far too small to allow forgiveness any room, either for forgiving the other person or for asking forgiveness for myself. My self-talk keeps me firmly on the throne of my life, where Jesus needs to be.
Of course, my self-talk is fantasy — it's all a lie. "Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth! Yours, not mine! If you can relate to fantasizing like this, we could both beat ourselves up over it, but in this fallen world, such self-talk is, humanly, our default mode. It is where we are likely to begin, but how long will we stay there? Only God can heal our hurts, and only He can bring forgiveness to us and through us to others.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we are so prone to justify ourselves and distance ourselves from anyone who hurts us, whether they meant to or not. We ask that Your Spirit would help us to recognize quickly the lie when we fall into it. Teach us Your way, O Lord, and we will walk in Your truth; give us an undivided heart that we may fear Your name. Amen.
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