Posted on January 4, 2015
Praying Psalm 101
At this time of year we hear a lot of talk about New Year’s resolutions. Some of us make them, some don’t. Some of us love the accountability, some of us happily skip the self-imposed guilt! And we all joke about them because, the truth is, very few of us really believe we’ll see them through to the end of January—let alone the end of the year.
But there is a challenging psalm with resolutions worth pursuing. Check out this list of ten resolutions from Psalm 101 that lead us to authenticity as women of God. This psalm is a pledge of commitment, with the key phrase I will. In praying this psalm, we determine to glorify God from the inside out—not to earn anything from God, but to praise Him for the grace He’s already extended that has brought us this far.
So how can we honor Him with integrity and make 2015 a banner year? Let’s learn from Psalm 101.
1) I will praise God, not just mouth confidence in Him while privately questioning His every move. I will operate in a sphere of praise, letting His love and mercy calm my deepest fears. (v.1)
2) I will commit to blameless living in advance—faithful until He comes for me. 1 Peter 1:13 challenges, “Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled….” I’ll be careful not to let down my guard, just because I think no one’s watching. (v.2a)
3) I will walk blamelessly in my house. There’ll be no actions or possessions in my home that don’t honor Christ. My grandmother loved books. She had hundreds of them in her home, not one of which was unfit for my child-eyes to see. Her library was a reflection of her godly character. I want everything in my house to reflect godly values too. (v.2b)
4) I will guard my eyes and the eyes of my family. No “vile thing” (the Hebrew word means worthless things of satan) will be on my television screen, computer screen, or anywhere else in my home. I once heard a preacher ask, “If Jesus was physically present in the room, would you be grabbing the remote to change channels?” It’s a valid question because He is present, though unseen. When I guard my eyes, I also guard His. (v.3a)
5) I will avoid bad influences, choosing my closest friends cautiously. That’s not to say someone must be a Christian to be my friend, but I’ll avoid relationships that lure me into sin. 1 Corinthians 15:33 reminds me that “bad company corrupts good character.” (v.3b-4)
6) I will silence gossip. In my own mind, I’ll do my best to turn every negative thought into prayer. I’ll put a gentle but firm stop to malicious talk, rising to the victim’s defense. According to Proverbs 6:16-19, God hates destructive talk; so will I. (v.5)
7) I will learn from faithful people, choosing good mentors. I want to “imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” (Hebrews 6:12) I also hope to be a good mentor, saying with Paul, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) (v.6)
8) I will take a stand against lies—in public, at home, and in my heart. God is Truth; there is nothing false in Him. To the best of my ability, there will be nothing false in me either. I’ll battle for truth. (v.7)
9) I will begin each morning with new commitment. God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23), allowing me to forget yesterday’s failures and start today with fresh resolve to be His from the inside out.
10) I will protect God’s people. I’ll “stand in the gap” (Ezekiel 22:30), even if I must stand alone. (v.8b)
In another of his psalms, David prayed, “Give me an undivided heart.” (Psalm 86:11) Praying Psalm 101 helps focus us on being wholly God’s, undivided, with no part left unchanged by His grace. From the depth of our hearts to our relationships, our homes, our workplaces, and our public lives, may integrity be found, may God be honored, and may 2015 be our strongest year yet.
Praying for you as this new year begins!
© Diane McLoud 2014