The Trumpet Sounds: ‘Soul Detox’

By Barry Pettit - Religion Columnist

Last week we began a new sermon series entitled “Soul Detox” where we began looking at areas of our spiritual lives that need a detox. I spoke about the Psalms, and how they are so valuable for detoxing key areas in my life. This week I’d like to share for a moment about detoxing our eyes and words. Among the million things we could look to, the psalmist reminds us where to set our focus. Like a compass in need of recalibration, we will inevitably wander if our eyes are set on the wrong things.

“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways” (Psalm 119:37). Our view of what is real and true and life-giving is so easily blocked. Our prayer should be that of the 19th-century theologian Albert Barnes, “Make my eyes to pass rapidly from such objects, that I may not look at them, may not contemplate them, may not dwell upon them.” “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8). May we act and regard ourselves as always in the Lord’s presence, for what is continually before our eyes is what shapes us. If our gaze is locked upon the Lord in the struggle, pain, and change, we will be anchored and not disturbed by fear.

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). In the words of Augustine, “Lord, show me the road I must travel that I may see you.” God’s path alone leads to life, and his hand provides not just pleasure, but eternal pleasure. And not merely joy, but full joy.

I believe we also need to detox our words. The psalmists knew the power of words. They used them to create beautiful poems of praise, to pierce the soul, and paint glorious pictures of God’s character. Words have the power to build or break, to decimate or create — choose them with wisdom. They flow out of our hearts, so if they are a continual struggle, we should take the time to examine our core.

“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). May our lips always speak in ways that draw others to our rock and redeemer. Meditate on the Lord, the fountain and origin of good things, so words pleasing him might overflow from your mouth. These words carry power and eternal impact when offered in his strength, rather than our own efforts. “We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done” (Psalms 78:4).

Let us be a generation faithful in speaking the truths we’ve been entrusted with, handing them off to the future generations. Not hiding these truths in fear or corrupting them to fulfill our own agendas, but speaking them for his glory, purposes, and praise. May his great works ever be on our lips! “I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you” (Psalms 16:2). God is our good — all of it. And we can’t add to his goodness in any way. Through the gospel, the entirety of our sin and death can be exchanged for the entirety of his goodness and life, and our redeemed souls can rest in him for eternity. He is our portion, our hope, and our stay.

This Sunday at South Side we will continue our series “Soul Detox,” and will unpack core truths that lead to a clean and healthy soul. Worship begins at 10:45, and we would love for you to experience this journey with us!

In Christ,

Barry Pettit

Sr. Minister

South Side Church of Christ

By Barry Pettit

Religion Columnist