Change Your Tapes

Photo credit: CoreForce (via verse: May the foot of the proud never come against me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away (Ps 36:11).

We’ve all done it. We hear a song that touches us so we order the tape. Or we hear a sermon that moves us and we say, I have to hear that again, so we ask for the tape. Then we play these tapes over and over.

Some counselors have put this image to good use. Here’s a believer who is often down on herself, or who sees the world through dark glasses, or repeatedly scolds herself for past bad choices — though forgiven. The counselor may say, “You’ve got to turn those tapes off in your head; start playing some new ones.”

This advice fits Psalm 36. David is vexed by the traits of the wicked person — he’s egotistical, has no reverence for God, his words are evil and deceitful, his sins are intentional — he even plots wrongdoing in the middle of the night. It’s a disheartening picture.

But the Psalmist turns immediately to another set of tapes. He calls to mind who God is — he’s loving, faithful, righteous, just. In fact, His love is “covenant love,” love that just won’t quit. That’s a tape that we should listen to again and again if the evil around us makes us glum.

The Psalmist ends with a simple prayer: “Continue your love to those who know you. . .” This prayer turns him to the right source for help, and he plays new tapes.

Thought: If we have power to choose the physical tapes we play, we have power to choose the mental tapes also.

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