“Come, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the Lord. Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous? Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil; he will erase their memory from the earth.”
Psalms 34:11-16 NLT
This gives us a very important key that unlocks the doorway of life. Reverence the Lord, watch your tongue, resist the temptation of evil, do what is good, seek out peacemaking, and work hard at maintaining it. Should we choose to do this, we will open the door to the life God intends. This same passage of scripture is quoted by the Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 3:10-12. Many of us find it easy to succumb to the provocations of the devil. Like electricity, we follow the path of least resistance. We simply find it easier to get disgruntled with someone and shun them rather than doing the hard work of navigating through the maze of challenging relationships. We allow our temper to get the best of us and we retaliate rather than resist the urge. Our tongues get loose in the midst of conflict and we use our words to inflame the situation. Like gasoline on a fire, we fuel the frustration and anger until it explodes. The sad part is this: the aftermath. Following our controversial engagements with others, we often sulk in our disappointment. Looking back in retrospect, we see our actions as counterproductive and harmful. Regret fills our hearts and we find ourselves grappling with the pride to face the opponent with an apology and an attempt to reconcile. Sometimes we would rather ignore the person rather than seeking them out for resolution and reconciliation. God wants us to understand that it is, often, hard work to do the right thing, but it's the right thing. Bitterness and unforgiveness only lead to grudges that last years, even lifetimes. Like a prisoner locked behind bars, we find ourselves incarcerated in our own hatred. I have heard it put like this: Bitterness is poison that we drink that we intended to serve the one we hold responsible. Today, if you want the best out of life, do things God's way. Sure, it may not be what everyone else is doing, but so what! You may have to submit your natural man to the spiritual man, but it's well worth it. Today's scripture tells us that God will open His ear to the cry of the righteous and honor those who do what is pleasing to Him. He will also punish those who don't. He will even wipe out the remembrance of the wicked. I don't know about you, but I surely don't want that. I want Gods ear open to me and I want His blessing on my life. By God's grace, I choose life!
Rev. Curtis Norris