One of the pieces that stood out to me in this chapter is that people are watching me (que The Police soundtrack, 1983). But seriously, the people in my life- my family, my friends- as well as those outside my immediate sphere- my neighbours, my colleagues, the barista, the cashier…there are so many people with whom I cross paths who know me and watch my life, along with many others. What do they see? What stands out as my distinguishing feature? Is it my love for people? Is it my commitment to my church? Or is it my snarky remarks, my readiness to listen to a juicy tidbit about so-and-so, or to laugh at someone else’s circumstance.
According to Isaiah 61, followers of Christ are meant to be a reflection of Him to the people in our community, in our city, in our country. It goes on to say that those who have the Spirit of the Lord in them will be called oaks of righteousness that God may be glorified. This shifts the focus away from us to the God we serve. All we do, all the Spirit of God equips us to do, comes back to the glory of God.
Being a new mom has really made me check myself. Now I have a little girl who is learning and watching everything I do. What am I modeling? What words does she hear? What attitudes am I allowing to influence my behaviour? Like we have talked about in this book study, I am asking God to check my heart- to show me what sin or negativity has crept in that might impact how I live and speak. Because it’s bigger than me. This is her life too. And how am I setting up my daughter for success in both life and relationships?
If there was anyone who had an audience for his life, it was King David. I enjoyed reading Psalm 31 in this chapter, with an eye for what is being said about our words. In this psalm we hear David’s prayer to God about the difficulty he is going through. In verses 13 and 14, it says:
I have heard the many rumors about me, and I am surrounded by terror. My enemies conspire against me, plotting to take my life. But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, “You are my God!”
Can we lay down our need for revenge, or our pride, long enough to trust God? Whether we feel justified or not to spread that piece of gossip because “she deserves it”…can we pause and ask God to direct our hearts for how we are to respond? Because above all else, He is listening. He walks with us every moment of every day. He is our strength, our courage, our hero…and He hears every word we speak.