If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. Psalm 137:5
Listen: Psalm 137
Although the psalmist weeps for a time, his focus begins to change. His words become a promise, or vow, to God. He begins to sing, “If I forget you God, then let me forget my musical skill. If I don’t exalt you as my source of joy, then render me speechless.” This is a healthy and positive vow from a man who is now finding personal strength in his God. He’s moving through his pain in the right direction.
Sometimes our past is so painful, and our hurt so deep, that we go to the negative extreme and stay there. We start to make promises that draw us away from trusting God. “I will never forgive my boss for shutting me out.” “I will never trust a man again, I’m done dating.” “I will never serve at church again until that policy changes.” Past pain can cause us to make unhealthy promises that result in self-trust leading us in the wrong direction—away from God.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Sometimes, negative vows become a habit. Pray and ask God to turn your focus upward towards his greatness, presence and love. “Father search my heart, examine my thoughts. Convict me of negative vows I’ve made. Please anchor me in your thoughts and ways” (Psalm 139:23-24 paraphrase). We are available at firstname.lastname@example.org to help if you feel caught in a habit of negativity.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.