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Words and Meditation

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'Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer." I first became aware of this Bible verse from Psalms (19:14) when I was young. I thought it was such a beautiful prayer that I adopted it for myself. I find it to this day particularly helpful when I fear I might say the wrong thing or fail to say the right thing.

Meditation has become popular as a private devotion or a spiritual exercise. Sometimes it is thought of as letting the mind go blank. One dictionary defines it in part as "deep and continued thought; reflection." I like to think of it as quiet contemplation of God, as letting Him reveal Himself to me.

To know that our thoughts are acceptable in God's sight gives great pleasure. Little children love to feel that their parents find them totally acceptable. People want to feel that way toward God. But often one's conscience spoils that feeling. Keenly aware of our own shortcomings, we find it hard to view ourselves, our thoughts, and our affections as acceptable.

The first word of that verse, however, says let. We need to let humility, good motives, trust in God be foremost in our nature. God created us in His image. Since God is Love, we must of necessity reflect Him by being loving. And we can let go of anything that contradicts God's likeness.

Sometimes it seems all right to think whatever we like, be it good or bad, as long as our words and actions appear good. But that involves a double standard in a real sense. Why be more concerned over the quality of our thoughts in another's sight than in our own sight? Just maybe, what we are too proud to have our neighbor see, we should be too honest to excuse in self-awareness.

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