I read Psalm 101 on a day when I had already read my Twitter feed.
I understand those who feel annoyed with random social media anger, but I have worked hard to choose which voices I listen to, which people I follow. And, in spite of my careful curation, I was exhausted when I turned to the ancient words of David.
“I will”, it starts.
As I read through it, I realized that this is like a commitment statement, a response to the question, “How will you shape the influences in your life so as to live a blameless life?”
The writer says, “I will listen to these people, I will not look at those things, I will follow those people, I will not allow those voices in my house.”
As I read it, I found myself starting to think about the discussions I’d been reading on Twitter. As I read, I had thoughts that started with, “They should” and “I can’t believe that thinking.” It was a very short step to judgment and frustration.
And then I sat with the words of the Psalm.
The psalm can be read as a commitment to curate the content coming into our lives. With 24 hours in a day and thousands of hours of audio and video content, and millions of words available always, we have an opportunity (an obligation) to make choices. Which networks, which emails, which speakers.
Of course, asking “which” assumes that ANY content is necessary. At some point, we have to do things. And the self-constraints the writer points to create the time and thinking space and feeling space to do those things.
For example. if I don’t listen to mediated falsehoods, I won’t get angry and distracted. I will be able to laugh and love and encourage.
Or maybe, write this post.