I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence.” But when I was silent and still, not even saying anything good, my anguish increased. My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke my tongue. Psalm 39:1-3
It takes a whole lot of growing up to choose to muzzle the impulse to complain.
Instead, the psalmist meditates on the brevity of life and the faithfulness of God to hear an unspoken complaint. I often find myself, when the pressure to perform in goodness towards those I love – the desire to be generous in spirit, making lists of the reasons I should be gracious. And always, this method falls short. I do a poor job controlling my emotions and all the layers that stack on top of each other, and inevitably the emotion bubble pops.
Gratitude for God’s generosity towards me, thankfulness that he hears my complaints and will answer – these meditations meet the complaint with strength and with power to be gracious.
If only I could remember this always.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:3