I love that verse. It's one of my favorites not only because I can still hear my grandmother quote it, but also because I pray it all the time and I have for years. The verse is so incredibly practical because it gives both the standard for our soul talk (acceptable in Your sight) and the source for our soul talk (my Strength and Redeemer).
Our standard for the words we speak to ourselves is not merely what is “acceptable” to us, but rather, what is acceptable to God. In our own “sight,” our self talk may appear fine. But, imagine the God of the universe, or Jesus, His Son, sitting in your living room listening to you talk to yourself. Imagine Him in the passenger seat as you drive alone and talk to yourself. Imagine Him in your bathroom as you look in the mirror and say the same old destructive things to yourself. Simply put, imagine that He is standing at the door of your thought closet, hearing each phrase of self talk that comes in. Imagine that everything you say to yourself is spoken in His “Sight.” Would you still say the same things to yourself? Would you speak in the same way to yourself if you knew He was listening?
God listens. Psalm 94:9 asks: “Does he who implanted the ear not hear?” And the Psalmist confirms: “Evening, morning and noon …He hears my voice.” (55:17)
He hears what no-one else does. And He cares about what you say to yourself because He cares about you. He is your Father, the One Who made you. To insult yourself is to insult Him. If He were in the room, you would most likely hold your thoughts captive at the door of your thought closet! I would never call myself an insulting name if I could see God standing right next to me, gazing attentively. I can just imagine Him saying. “Oh, Jennifer…What did you say? That’s not right. I don’t make idiots. Jesus died so you would know who you are and live like it…My daughter, you are not an idiot.”
Seeing God in the middle of our thought closets gives us a standard to meet with our own soul talk. But, in our weaknesses, we often need a little help in choosing and controlling our soul talk. God is not only the Standard, but He can also be the Source of our healthy soul talk too.
The Psalmist called God his Strength and his Redeemer. In other words, God was the source from Whom the Psalmist could draw wise words and thoughts. God’s strength is our source when we are weak. It’s hard to keep vigilant control over our thoughts, isn’t it? We are weak and we need strength. My grandmother used to say, “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all!” That was usually referring to me ranting about someone or something I didn’t like. But, her admonishment applies wisely to our soul talk. God can strengthen us to keep a guard over our lips. If we can’t say anything wise, productive or edifying, then God can strengthen us to say nothing at all! When you feel weak, draw from the source…His strength.
Memorize Psalm 19:14. Meditate on it during the day. It will become like wallpaper in your thought closet! It will constantly keep the standard and source of wise soul talk in the front of your mind.
This was such an important part of my soul talk journey, that I put that verse to music! Listen to the verse/song as it sounds on my Along the Way CD -
It will help you memorize and meditate upon it as you sing along!
Here’s a verse you can pray -
Hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught. (Ps 55:2)