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What's in Your Mouth?  

It’s a verse I wish wasn’t in the Bible. Do you relate?

I’m referring to Psalms 34:1, a harmless—if not pleasant-sounding—verse.  David said, “I will bless the Lord at all times.  His praise shall CONTINUALLY be in my mouth” (emphasis added).

The ad campaign humorously asks, “What’s in your wallet?” This Psalm asks, “What’s in your mouth?”

I wish David hadn’t used that word in Psalms 34:1, continually.   Because a lot of the time, you’ll hear complaining coming out of my mouth.  Or criticism.  Or worse.  What’s in your mouth?

The more I study, the more convinced I am that when it comes down to it, praise really is a choice.  It’s not about a spiritual mist that wafts over you.  It’s a decision to give God credit or thanks or glory—regardless of our circumstances.

Problem is, praise is not natural!  Not for sinners like us. In fact, praise is sometimes the grittiest, gutsiest thing you could possibly do.

Last week, I flew to Jacksonville, Florida to shoot some video and photos for Moody Radio.  Upon landing, I attempted to connect with my car rental company.  But nobody answered the phone.  On top of that, a rainstorm unleashed on us.  There I stood, sulking—and soaking—wondering if I would be forever stranded at the airport. 

I confess this Psalm popped into my head at that very moment.   Talk about an inconvenient truth!  Honestly, I struggled to “praise the Lord at all times.”  I was angry. 

But consider this thought from Joni Tada.  You’ll recall that at the age of 17, she dove into the Chesapeake Bay, injured her neck and has now spent  50 years in a wheelchair as a quadriplegic.  Joni writes:

Half a century of paralysis has also shown me how high the cosmic stakes really are. Whenever I fidget in my confinement, I can almost hear Satan taunt God—as he did with Job—“Look at her, see? She doesn’t really trust you. Test her with more pain and you’ll see her true colors!” When the Devil insists God’s people only serve him when life is easy, I have the high honor of proving him wrong. To be on the battlefield where the mightiest forces in the universe converge in warfare? By God’s grace, I’m all in.

Guess my little airport hiccup wasn’t worth the rant.

Maybe your problem isn’t, either.

Hey—what’s in your mouth?

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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