I’ve been surrounded almost exclusively by Christians for the past five weeks. Not surprisingly, this is an atmosphere where “Christianese” may freely flow. Terms like “a heart for” and “saved” are tossed about without explanation because we all understand them.
In a similar vein, “life verses” have come up many times. I’ve always thought that a funny term – I’m 23 years old, and I’ve only been serious about God’s role in my life for 4.5 years. How do I choose a verse that describes my life’s theme? Is that even important to me?
Probably not. I enjoy hearing what others consider their life verses, but I’ve had three different verses that have really hit home during this journey I call my “walk with Christ.”
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
The first couple of years that I spent growing in my Christian faith were filled with trials. Many of my high school friends were turning to me for advice on weighty problems. I spent my time trying to learn how a Christian life should look. In the midst of so much learning and change, this passage offered encouragement.
One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple. Psalm 27:4
As I graduated from college and sought new direction for my life, I questioned my priorities. What goals did I have for my life? What steps were necessary to achieve those ends? In processing through these questions, Psalm 27:4 gave me guidance. I didn’t know where I was going, but I knew that the ultimate purpose must be to know and glorify God, because that is why I was created.
My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1
This verse seems to scream “CJ!” far more than the others. I am at my most comfortable with a pen and pad of paper. Writing isn’t something I do just because I enjoy it; I am passionate about using what skill I have to encourage Christians and non-Christians alike. I don’t know that I’ll be employed by a Christian publication, but that circumstance is irrelevant to my goals. I want my words (both spoken and written) to edify readers, whether I write for Relevant, a Campus Crusade publication or Southern Living.
You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever. Psalm 45:2
What’s funny is that the lines following my “life verse” are beautiful but distinctive in a completely different way. Verse one of this psalm calls to mind my life’s goals, but verse two taps into a different desire: a husband.
I’d like to get married someday. Should that day come, I would love to recite these words to my husband. Surely he’ll be the “most excellent of men” in my eyes – that’s why I’ll marry him, after all.
The idea of lips “anointed with grace,” however, blows me away. I’m not sure what the author had in mind when penning this psalm, but to me they draw out a powerful image.
The man I imagine isn’t a wimp who is soft of speech and lacking confidence. He’s a man who is self-assured, not because he’s got so much going for him (though he probably does), but because his worth is tied up in Jesus. He’s the same person regardless of circumstance.
That includes his relationships. Instead of mocking the girl who tries too hard or the guy who flirts with every girl, he embraces their contributions to the world.
I’ve learned that it’s important to not only know my standards, but to become my standards. Am I the sort of woman that would attract the kind of man I desire? Moreover, am I bringing glory to God?
This idea has resurfaced many times lately, particularly regarding speech. I try to be an uplifting influence, but I often pepper my speech with sarcasm or crass words. A friend informed me recently that it’s not ladylike to say things like “butt load.” While I think he was mostly kidding, he has a point. My purpose isn’t to impress boys, and butt load may not be derogatory to God – but is it edifying?
Romans 12:1 instructs us to be “transformed by the renewing of your minds.” The Christian bubble in which I dwell may not represent “real life,” but it is serving as an incubator for these thoughts. August 14 may find me a changed person.