Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:12-14 (NIV)
Turn around. What do you mean by saying, “Turn around?” Stop what you are doing. Make a course correction. Why is that? Do you want to love life and see many good days? Yes, of course, I want to love life and see many good days. What might prevent me from loving life and seeing many good days? You tell me. What have you not enjoyed in life? What has filled you with stress? What has given you anxiety? Being in conflict with others has robbed me of joy in life. Arguments have made my days less than good. What has drawn you into conflict? Often times my tongue has drawn me into conflict. Often times, I have said what did not need to be said. I have spoken up, when the better course would have been to remain silent. I don’t need to right every wrong. I don’t need to set every situation straight. Quite often, I have been mistaken. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, in the midst of a battle, I have spoken less than the whole truth. That’s a clever way to say that. Do you mean to say that sometimes you have lied? Yes, I guess so. You guess so? No, I know so. That’s good. What’s good about that? You are willing to admit that you have made mistakes. You are acknowledging your sin. You are confessing your wrongs. Yes, I am. That’s a good step towards loving life and seeing good days.
So, your tongue has kept you from loving life and seeing good days, what else? Well, not only have I not spoken well, I have not done well. What do you mean by that? I have known the right thing to do and I have done the opposite. What does that sound like the definition of? I’m not sure what you mean. What would you call knowing the good you were to do and doing the opposite? I suppose I would call that sin. Yes, exactly. How have you felt when you have sinned with your actions? Just as bad as I have felt when I sinned with my words. What are you going to do about that? When I’m about to do what I know to be wrong I’m going to stop and turn around and head in the opposite direction. That will be very good.
What will you pursue with both your words and your deeds? What will allow you to love life and see many good days? I will pursue peace with both my words and deeds. That will be very good. Then you will live the good and long life, I have called you to live.
Lord, I want to live a long life and see many good days. I don’t want my life to be filled with anxiety, stress and conflict. I that that these will shorten my life and ruin my days. Help me to speak words and take actions that will make for peace with others. Amen
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