An infallible test of our real self
(J. R. Miller, "Psalm 19" 1912)
We have a beautiful prayer at the close of Psalm 19: "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer." There could be no higher standard of life, than is set for us in this prayer.
The conduct may be blameless—while the thoughts are stained with sin. It is easier to keep our acts without fault—than to keep our feelings, our desires, and our affections pure. We may do no outward act of cruelty or unkindness; while our hearts may be full of jealousies, envies, and all selfishness. We are to seek that our thoughts be so white and clean—that they will be acceptable in God's sight.
The prayer covers our words, our thoughts, and our meditations; each a closer test than the one before. It is a great thing to be faultless in speech—but perfect grammar is not enough. Our words may be beautiful and graceful—and yet our thoughts may be full of hypocrisy, of deceit, of all evil! The prayer here is that our thoughts may please God. This is a higher spiritual attainment, than merely faultless words.
Then, a still higher test of life—is our meditation. Meditations are our deepest thoughts, the quiet ponderings of our hearts. Meditation is almost an obsolete word in these times of hustle and bustle. The word belongs rather to the days when men had much time to think—and think deeply. We meditate when we are alone, when we are shut away from others. Our minds then follow the drift of our own desires, dispositions, and imaginations. If our hearts are clean and good—our meditations are pure and holy. But if our hearts are evil and unclean—our meditations are of the same moral quality. Thus, our meditations are an infallible test of our real self. "As a man thinks in his heart—so is he." Proverbs 23:6
This prayer is, therefore, for a life of the highest character—one acceptable to God, not only in words and thoughts—but also in meditations. Such a life, everyone who loves God and would be like God—should seek to live!