“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
Reverence isn’t a word you hear every day. However it is a word that has been stuck in my head for over a week. When I first heard it I wrote it down on an index card. I didn’t audibly hear the word “reverence” but it very abruptly popped into my mind out of nowhere. Normally when things like that happen I realize God is speaking to me.
So I looked up the definition of reverence. I knew what it meant, but I didn’t have a working definition of the word. Reverence is “respect or honor paid to a worthy object” (Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary).
As this word reverence has been swirling around in my mind for several days, it has made me think of my attitude towards God. Do I always show reverence to God and revere His name?
I want to. I try to. But I am pretty sure I don’t always.
When I read the Scriptures that were supposed to use the word reverence in the Old and New Testaments I discovered something. In the Old Testament, the actual word “reverence” was only used 2 out of the 10 times where the word should have appeared. The other 8 places that I should have found the word reverence I found phrases instead. Phrases that signified bowing down low to pay someone honor and respect and phrases about fearing God, worshipping Him, lifting up hands to Him and upholding His holiness.
In that moment I realized, pat on the back, I do that! When I have my quiet time in the mornings I do kneel down on the floor when I pray. I worship God throughout my normal days and when I am at church during weekly worship services. When I feel God’s presence I lift my hands to Him, sometimes while I’m driving! I do fear God. I uphold His holiness.
Most of the time. I uphold His holiness most of the time.
This is where conviction enters the scene.
I have a tendency to be silly.
I am a children’s pastor at my church which means part of my job requires silliness. Children love silly. So I am not saying that being silly is necessarily a bad thing, but I do feel like there is an appropriate time and place for everything.
And God “created my inmost being” (Psalm 139:13a, NIV) so He knows I’m silly. He made me this way. But I don’t want to be silly when it comes to Him.
My silliness sometimes causes me to let God’s holiness fall by the wayside and I don’t want to be that person. Ever.
I don’t want my words to mock God.
I don’t want the words that come out of my mouth make someone question my love for God.
But I can see where sometimes, when I am being silly and trying to lighten the mood or sound funny, my words may make others think my love for God is shallow and insincere.
Starting now, this week, I am going to make a conscious effort to save my silliness for the appropriate time and place and try to be intentional about showing reverence to God in my thoughts, my words and my actions.
I know that this new effort will be a work in progress for me. Just last night I had to repent because I caught myself saying things that I shouldn’t have. I didn’t say anything that was necessarily bad. But I did let a few “oh Lawd”s and “thank you Jesus”s, that are not phrases that revere my God and Savior, slip out. And it must stop. I must stop.
Luckily I am not in this on my own. Yes, this is a weakness for me, but Romans 8:26 says, “the Spirit helps us in our weakness.” I am so thankful that God has provided a way, a person, a helper…the Holy Spirit, to see me through and assist me in this effort to change my thoughts, my words and my actions so that I can show God the reverence He deserves at all times.