In Psalm 34:3 David issues this invitation: “Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt God’s name together.” In Hebrew, “magnify” means “to enlarge, boost, or glorify.”
Lately I have been picturing our minds as neighborhoods full of For Sale signs. Whatever dominates our thought life buys up real estate. Magnified thoughts buy up real estate. For those among us who tend to obsess, a recurring thought pattern can monopolize the neighborhood.
Think of your favorite food. Imagine eating as much of it as you want. How’s the mental real estate going for you now? I’ll be here when you return from your snack.
Bitterness, shame, guilt, rage, anxiety, discouragement, eroticism – these are a few examples of toxic thought patterns that buy up the property between our ears. The larger problem materializes when they move in with all of their stuff! Those obsessive thoughts are no longer just thoughts – they are now feelings and choices. The neighborhood rapidly deteriorates into a reflection of the new owner’s values.
There are times when some form of therapy and/or medication is necessary. I rejoice that they exist! Where I am going next in no way diminishes the value of the medical community when we need help. Cognitive process therapy or thought field therapy are two of many ways we can upgrade our self-talk with some specialized support.
What if we can choose what we magnify in our minds? When we magnify a problem, we sign over to that problem an enormous amount of mental real estate, and the problem takes over. When we magnify God’s character and God’s promises, we sign over to God an enormous amount of mental real estate, and God takes over. Worship accesses the One Who made us and knows how we function best.
Worship works for my one-track mind like gangbusters. As a personal discipline it has become more of a delight than a discipline – my “ought-to” has become my “want-to.” And I have come to crave glorifying God in worship with other Christ-followers, in a variety of styles and settings. My mental health has never been better. I became sick and tired of signing my mind over to a revolting succession of tycoons and slumlords, and I started giving the Developer more attention, letting the crucified and risen Christ restore the neighborhood into a reflection of the rightful Owner’s values and heart.
“Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt God’s name together.”
How does this “worship therapy” work for you? You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rick Jordan (www.rickcarlajordan.com)