It can be challenging to be honest with yourself. We tend to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt and assume the best of our own intentions. This is especially true when we face conflict. We are quick to assume that we are right, and our opponent is clearly wrong!
In today’s reading, David turns to God in prayer because his enemies were trying to trap him. But instead of praying immediately against them, David turned his focus inward. He wanted to make sure his heart was right before God. His request focused on three areas. He prayed that God would protect him from saying the wrong thing (v. 3). Words are powerful. They can build people up and tear them down. It is easy to say a damaging word in the heat of conflict. David prayed that God would guard his mouth, that he would only speak words that were right and true.
David prayed that he would not join the wicked (v. 4). He understood the lure of living for oneself and not for God. He prayed, “Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil...along with those who are evil doers” (v. 4).
Finally, David prayed that he would accept godly correction, “Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness; let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head” (v. 5). He knew there would be times when he would need a faithful friend to speak a hard truth. He prayed that he would have an open and receptive heart. A good summary of David’s heart toward God in this psalm is found in verse 8: “But my eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord.”
>> Certainly, we can relate to David’s desire to keep his heart pure and his eyes focused on God. As the Lord Jesus reminded us, no matter what we face, we are to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matt. 6:33).
“Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil so that I take part in wicked deeds” (Ps. 141:3–4). Keep our eyes fixed on You, LORD.