Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. Psalm 139:14
A little-known fact about myself is that I love to sing. I’m no professional, but I took voice lessons for several years and can carry a tune. For a long time, however, I was convinced that I could not sing and mouthed the words to songs when my friends and I were listening to and singing some of our favorite songs. I even sang really, really quietly in church for fear someone would hear me. Why did I think this? Years ago, when I was in the car with my friend, we were singing to the radio, and my friend politely asked me to sing more quietly and turned up the radio. As a result, I thought, “I must be a terrible singer.” I carried this belief with me for years and stopped singing around people because of it. However, one day, this friend told someone we were talking to that I had a great voice. I asked her about it later. I told her that I was under the impression that she thought I had a bad voice and should not sing, reminding her of when she turned up the radio and asked me to sing quietly. When I told her that, she apologetically shared with me that she must have just wanted to listen to the song that day, and it had nothing to do with my voice. I could not believe that one moment had caused me to believe I had a bad voice and caused me to stop singing. This experience taught me a valuable lesson. The way we think about ourselves has a profound impact. In fact, Scripture teaches that our thoughts often drive our actions and how we live.
It does not take long to read through Scripture to understand that we need to truly understand what God says about us and view ourselves the way He does. There is no better place to turn to discover what God thinks about us than Scripture. A favorite place I like to turn to see what God thinks about me is Psalm 139. It’s so beautiful; you need to read it for yourself, but here are just a few things this chapter says about us. We are known fully by God (verse 1). We are God’s creation (verse 13). We are “wonderfully complex” and marvelous (verse 14). God thinks about us very often, and his thoughts toward us are precious (verse 17). These are just some of the incredible things God says about us.
Imagine if we lived believing what God said about us and focusing on what He says about us instead of anyone else. We would find so much freedom. We would not worry so much. We would love each other even more fiercely. Yes, we might even sing worship songs to God more loudly because we do not care what anyone else thinks. So let’s live believing what God thinks about us is true and letting Him and only Him give us our identity.
As you go throughout your day, pay attention to your thoughts. Whenever you have a positive or negative thought about yourself or your current circumstances, write it down on a notecard or the notes app on your phone. At the end of the day, evaluate the thoughts you have had. Were they mostly positive or negative? How did these thoughts drive how you lived today? Are some of these thoughts recurring? Do you recognize them as thoughts you have just about every day? How might these thoughts have affected you in the past year or years? Make a plan tomorrow to recognize these thoughts. Replace them with positive thoughts and truth from Scripture when negative thoughts come. At the end of the day tomorrow, note how the positive thoughts affected your day.
Psalm 139:1-24 (NLT)
1 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
7 I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there.9 If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,10 even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.11 I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book.Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God. They cannot be numbered!18 I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!And when I wake up, you are still with me!
19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked! Get out of my life, you murderers!20 They blaspheme you; your enemies misuse your name.21 O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you? Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred, for your enemies are my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
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