Friday, May 29, 2020

My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long. —Psalm 35:28

When I look at this verse from Psalm 35, the word, “reflex” comes to mind. A tongue that tells of God’s righteousness all day long sounds to me a lot like lungs that inhale when they’re empty, eyelids that blink when they’re dry, and a stomach that starts digesting when it’s fed. It’s like flinching when we anticipate a threat. Without a whole lot of decision-making, these functions happen over and over, on and on. According to the psalmist, singing God’s praise is just what his tongue does in response to knowing God. A reflex.

And sometimes praising God feels like that, right? Sometimes we’re filled to overflowing with gratitude and awe, and we can’t help but express it in our attitudes, words, and actions. That’s the kind of praise reflex I think the psalmist is talking about.

Sometimes, however, my own praise reflex feels dulled. Sometimes I get bogged down by the mundane, I need to coax myself into expressing gratitude, I am too busy to experience awe. How about you?

Our bodily reflexes are good for us, and when they’re dulled, we suffer. So it is with our praise reflex. The truth is, I am created to praise God and my inclination to do so is important for my spiritual wellness.

This reflex is something I feel the need to sharpen in myself, especially right now when so many things feel dulled and fuzzy. In a conversation with my coach today, I figured out that I benefit from regular reminders of God’s presence. For me, revisiting Psalm 19:14 throughout my day is really important. When I do, my awareness of God’s presence becomes clearer. And with that clarity, praising God becomes more like blinking my eyes. More like a reflex. 

If you feel this need to sharpen your reflex for praise, consider these questions…

  • When has praising God felt more like a reflex than a conscious decision? What was that like? 
  • What would it look like for you to sharpen your praise reflex so that you might more readily and regularly praise God? 
  • What reminders about God do you need to keep at the forefront? 
  • What sins are blocking your natural inclination to praise the Lord? What would it look like to ask for God to help you repent of those?
  • What attitudes, if shifted, would position you to stand in awe of your Creator? 
  • Who can help you?
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