Meditation on Psalm 45:1

Kevin J Youngblood

My heart overflows with a pleasing theme;

I address my verses to the king;

my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe. (Psalm 45:1)

From heart to tongue. Such is the trajectory set by the opening line of Psalm 45. The alignment of heart with tongue, I have found, is not a natural nor an easy one. More often than not, the tongue is a veil behind which the heart hides, trying desperately to disguise its wickedness. The psalmist, however, seems prepared for his tongue to publish the true thoughts of his heart like the pen of a ready scribe.
O, how I long to have such a heart – a heart overflowing with pleasant, healthy, edifying, honest themes that the tongue can readily publish with minimal editing. Of course, the old adage “think before you speak” remains valid, especially as we are all still works in progress regarding the proper alignment of heart with tongue. I do think, however, that as I notice just how much editing is needed before my tongue publishes that which overflows from my heart, I am alerted to much needed reform in my thinking. Many of my heart habits need to be broken and replaced with healthier heart habits. Before that can happen, however, I must first become an acute observer of my own heart. I have noticed that most of my heart habits happen instinctively and automatically with little to no self-awareness.
I am convinced, however, that I consist of parts. My heart is not quite the same as my “true self.” There is another part of me that can monitor my heart once it has been wakened from its slumber. Perhaps this is the part with which the indwelling Holy Spirit seeks communion. Is this the part of me that the Spirit awakens to what is really taking place within me and rouses me to fight the internal battle with “the flesh”? If so, then I desperately need to get in touch with this inner observer and this inner observer desperately needs to yield to the Holy Spirit to deliver me from the intellectual and spiritual solipsisim threatening to implode me like a black hole.
God seems to be using the interiority of the Psalms to bring me to greater self-awareness, awakening in me an alertness to the parts within me that are at war with each other. Sin has broken me, fragmented me, turned me into a malfunctioning person whose parts are misaligned and engaged in mutual self-sabotage. As the Psalms say elsewhere, “. . . unite my heart to fear your name.” (Ps. 86:11)

This morning I borrow the psalmist’s words and make them my prayer. Please, God, unite my heart to fear your name. Integrate me and make me whole so that my whole person responds in coordinated unity to your every command, to your Spirit’s every prompting. Surely, God, this is holiness: integration of the self in alignment with your Spirit and your truth. Lord Jesus, thank you for your perfect example of this wholeness. As I look at your life and ministry outlined in the gospel accounts, I see clearly what an integrated life wholly dedicated to the Father looks like. Holy Spirit, I surrender my fragmented, broken, and misaligned self to your deep and mysterious work – to the surgery of the soul in which you are engaged this very moment. No longer will I resist or bid you stop simply because it hurts, simply because I fear what you will find or fear the difficulty of the changes that you will require. Surely it is worth it to know such peace and to live so simply and joyfully.