Rocks have always been a part of my classroom. Students were asked to bring a stone on the first day of school. They decorated their rocks with their favorite Bible reference and anything they would use to illustrate their relationship with Jesus. Within a few days, some dads gathered to cement the rocks onto a prepared wooden base. A space was left at the top for a candle. It became a daily reminder that we were cemented together by the love of Christ. We were to hold up His light. If any rock should be removed from the structure, it would weaken us. At the end of the year, we dug a hole in my backyard and buried the structure as we talked about being buried with Christ, our Rock and Cornerstone.
When I became a principal, I knew I needed a visible Rock reminder. I found it in the form of a little metal plate inscribed with the words of Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Seeing that passage on a daily basis probably kept me out of all sorts of trouble.
I had often prayed that prayer before speaking to large groups of people, but God taught me with those words that the most important “speeches” I would ever make were the ones I shared with students and families on a daily basis. While it can become very easy to justify our responses to angry parents, lying students, or to those who falsely accuse us, our words dare not be judged by human standards, but by the Rock Himself. They must be acceptable in His sight. That changes everything. So often the words formed in my mind were impacted by the Rock who ruled my heart and therefore changed what came out of my mouth. On the many occasions when my words were not acceptable in His sight, I knew I could always go to my Rock and my Redeemer to receive words of forgiveness and hope.
As workers in His Kingdom, we have all taken out a life lease on a glass house. We are watched. We are judged by our words and our actions. We can lament this or we can see it as yet another ministry opportunity. When we say and do things that are kind, generous, loving, and forgiving, that too is noticed. When we lean on our Rock and our Redeemer, we realize we have a firm foundation. Like those rock structures that once graced my classroom, we can hold up the Light. We can have the strength to love those who may pitch all sorts of gravel at the glass houses in which we live. This is more likely to happen when we join David in praying, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14, ESV).
Photo (c) lucentius/iStock