Oh Be Careful Little Minds…
Psalm 119: 33-40
Verses 36-37 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
We talked yesterday about the need to be seeking God and His law wholeheartedly. Today’s verses remind us of some steps to keep us looking wholeheartedly to Him.
This first verse reveals one of the ways that our hearts get torn from the Lord. Our hearts are so set on the things we see. We are easily enraptured by the latest thing that comes along. Whether it is a thing that is for pleasure or the latest item of convenience, they grab our attention and start coming to mind from time to time. Sometimes their commercials come up often to remind us that we haven’t gotten them yet.
The psalmist prays that God would turn his heart towards the law instead so that he isn’t consumed with selfish gain. And while this may include things like we have already mentioned, it could also be that we are drawn to selfish gains of power and attention. See anytime we look for things to be most in our favor we are in danger of placing ourselves in the position of idol or maybe we are already there in our lives.
The second thing the psalmist mentions is wanting his eyes turned from worthless things. While we seem to have more things that could distract us than the ancient world, the psalmist knew of enough distractions that it concerned him and caused him to pray for help against it. Distractions are not new to the world and we don’t have to think very long to know what distracts us, but there are things that are just plain worthless that distract us from focusing on the law.
Many of us may spend time on social media, on the internet and maybe even watching TV, none of these are sins, in and of themselves but that doesn’t mean that they should use up so much of our lives. We say that we don’t have time for reading and studying the Bible but the truth is that many of us have allowed these other things to distract us from the things we should do, the things that have eternal value. This is the problem that the psalmist sees, He knows that we need to focus more on what is eternal and leave the temporal in the past.
Making It Personal
What things of this world are trying to be idols in your life? What distractions tend to draw you away from studying the law? Do you need to make some intentional choices in life?
Making It Personal Kids
What are some things that you really want? Are they more important than wanting a closer relationship with Jesus? What things distract you at church or during family Bible reading?
Father, thank You for this reminder that we need to be aware of what is taking up our time and attention. Father, may we come to desire You and Your Word more than anything this world has to offer. In Jesus’ name, amen.