“Cursing is as much a part of him as his clothing,
or as the water he drinks,
or the rich food he eats.”
Psalm 109:18 NLT
It’s cliche’ to say it, but nearly everyone thinks about it at one point in time or another: What do you want to be remembered for when you die? There is no wrong answer to this question but it becomes challenging when I am also faced with the question What WILL I be remembered for when I die. A blue crayon can live it’s whole life hoping to be remembered as “yellow” but unless it makes some expensive cosmetic changes, that hope will never be fulfilled. What kind of changes do I need to make to ensure that the kind of life I’m hoping to live goes beyond mere hope? And, even more importantly, how do I make those changes?
The template for change came to me in my Bible reading this week, in Psalm 109. At first glace, it simply matched up with one of the themes I notice in the Psalms. David often wrote about the struggle of being persecuted by evil people – he talked to God like my boys talk to me when they tell me about how they’ve been bullied. He also goes into detail about this particular bully, describing his sinful attributes. Verse 18’s description really stood out to me:
“Cursing is as much a part of him as his clothing, or as the water he drinks, or the rich food he eats.”
That’s a lot of cursing. It sounds like cursing was part of his base operating system – he used it to protect and fuel himself, just as clothing covers, water hydrates, and food fuels. This is what he will be remembered for. That’s pretty bad. Then, more I thought about this really bad guy, the more I realized that, without Jesus, I am just as branded by evil.
Without Jesus, there is no chance of me closing the gap
between what I hope to be remembered as and what I will be remembered as.
Then, thankfully just a few verses later, this painful truth is resolved by David’s perfect plea:
“But deal well with me, O Sovereign LORD, for the sake of your own reputation! Rescue me because you are so faithful and good.” (Psalm 109:21 NLT)
David acknowledges in these two simple sentences that it is not about HIS choices, HIS crayon color, or any type of earthly achievements HE has earned. The reason David asks to be treated differently than the bully of verse 18 is only because of who GOD is. And the same goes for me. My past, present and future will all contain qualities of sinner and saint. I can spend every waking minute of the time I have left on this earth focused on obtaining the label I want to leave behind. Or I can take the label I’ve been given and spend my time praising and thanking the one who gave it to me.
I will be remembered for being SAVED.
Dear Lord, I am speechless in awe of your gift. The fullness of this gift you have given us still astounds me. Every day that I get to learn more about your love for us, I am filled with a deeper understanding of how true love works. Please continue teaching me how live transformed by your truth, rather than conformed by my mistakes. Amen.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/50965924@N00/15621719898″>Cincinnati – Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum “Transformation”</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>