August 11

Psalm 34:12-14

“Which of you desires life, and covets many days to enjoy good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” vss. 12-14

Evidently those who were living in Jerusalem 2500 years ago had the same dreams and desires as people have today. They loved life and wanted to enjoy it as long as they could. Like us they looked for advice and did all they could to wring out a few more quality years. And the psalmist was willing to share his wisdom. In his estimation, long life was not complicated and didn’t require changes in diet or medicine. The first step in longevity was learning to curb the tongue! As we learn how to speak kind and gracious words and stay away from deceitful ugly talk, there will be abundant blessings. His second recommendation was equally plain: stop doing evil and start doing good; seek peace in all interactions. Do these things, the psalmist implies, and you will know many days of joy. It seems so very simple–yet some claim such changes are impossible. Somehow we’ve gotten the idea that sinners can’t stop sinning and there’s no point in even trying. Of course that’s a bunch of malarkey. Jesus calls us to repentance–he wants us to change. And we can! We can harness our tongues and use them kindly. We can seek peace and do what is good. And the benefits will always be life-giving–for ourselves and for others!

 Thought for the Day: Who will I affect with my deeds and speech today?

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