I was reading Psalm 119 this morning and I was really struck by v37:
“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.”
It hit me because it was mid-morning and I had already read several blogs, a bit of news and looked at a few other things – but this was more or less my first proper time in the Bible all day.
And it made me think about my priorities and my motivations. Were my eyes spending too much time focusing on worthless things?
This stanza of the Psalm has already raised the question of motivation:
“Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.
Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not selfish gain.” (35-36)
Why do I find it so easy to read blogs and other articles? Apart from the random things which catch my eye I think there are two main reasons. Firstly, because a friend has written them – and so my relationship with the friend makes me interested in what they have to say. Secondly, because they feel like they may contain some useful information that will help me in my ministry or in my walk with God.
But if they are my driving motivations, what does that say about my attitude to God and His Word? If He is my Heavenly Father, my Saviour, my King – shouldn’t my relationship with Him make me interested in what He has to say? And what could be more useful in my ministry and walk with God than being led into His paths? These other resources may well be helpful, but ultimately they are derivative – and I would most times be better served by spending time with the source.
As ever, my heart is the problem. And there is only one person who can change that. And it isn’t me. See how the stanza starts:
“Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end.
Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.” (33-34)
And see how it ends:
“Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!” (40)
So I hope you’re not reading this. And if you’ve got this far, why not go and spend some time in the real deal? And perhaps you, like me, need also to repent of some of your daily priorities, learn what it means to ‘turn your eyes from worthless things’ and find ‘life in His ways.’