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Jerusalem Dateline

Weaning Unwanted Behaviors from your Life

mother feeding baby


By David Gibson
Ordained Pastor and Pastoral Counselor



Psalm 131 (NKJV) A Song of Ascents. Of David.

1 LORD, my heart is not haughty, Nor my eyes lofty.
Neither do I concern myself with great matters,
 Nor with things too profound for me.
2 Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with his mother; l
ike a weaned child is my soul within me.
 3 O Israel, hope in the LORD
from this time forth and forever.

Sometimes we complicate our own lives. I know, quite an understatement for most of us. We indulged in addictions or behavior partly to sooth ourselves in the complicated mess we were in, and the result was…more complications.

It seems apropos that a psalm about the benefits of simple faith thinking is only three verses long, whereas Psalm 119, which is about the benefits of scripture, is 176 verses. Psalm 131 is all about what David is not; what he has done to not be those things; and concludes with a simple statement, a directive to hope.

The psalm addresses the wholeness of David – body (v1), soul (v2) and spirit (v3).

I think the key to the psalm is in its title, which David gave to it. So, while it is only 3 verses it is preceded by a title that we cannot ignore because it will tell us much. A Song of Ascents is a song meant to be sung on your way to the Temple which was on a hill top. Today we are all on a journey to a daily deepening, intimate relationship with Jesus.

We want to ask ourselves, why did David write this psalm? What did he experience that he wanted to teach us? David learned a profound truth that he wanted to convey to the congregation through a poem set to music. David was the type of personality who taught not from books but from life experience. He had no book training except for Torah.

We all have much we can teach from life experience. What are your teachings? You may have learned a lot of negative things about the world, but even in those, there are always positive things to learn about God and self.

I say “God and self” as one. Not, what has the world taught you about God, and what has the world taught you about self. If we separate those two, most likely we are going to come up with negative lessons. The world has one purpose, as it is under the rule of Satan (1 John 5:19; Eph 2:2; John 8:44): 1. To beat down the saints. 2. To beat down our faith.

So, every life experience is best learned from when we seek to learn about the unity of self and God. This is faith thinking that ASCENDS, it rises above the tumult of the world. Remember, we are not human beings learning to live a spiritual life; we are spiritual beings learning to live a human life.

The Hebrew baby passes through several stages, five of which are the yeled, one who is just born, a babe; the babe then becomes a yonek, or suckling; then an olel, one who is no longer satisfied with only this nourishment, but asks for bread; then a gamer, or weaned one; and next a lapin, one who clings to his mother. Spiritually David had passed through this stage and was just entering the one designated by elem, becoming firm and strong.

One difficult stage of maturing is weaning. A child being weaned is sure that his mother no longer loves him and that everything is against him. Actually, weaning is a step toward maturity and liberty. It is good for the child! Sometimes God has to wean His children away from their childish toys and immature attitudes. David pictured this in Psalm 131: “Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.” (v2). God uses trials to wean us away from childish things; but if we do not surrender to Him, we will remain immature.

Let’s go back to the weaning Christian. The child who loves his God, and who is sure that his God loves him, will be able to get through the weaning and start to grow up. The Christian who loves God, and who knows that God loves him, will not fall apart when God permits trials to come. He is secure in God’s love. And thus our souls are quieted.

Copyright 2013 David Gibson, used by permission.

David GibsonDavid Gibson is a writer, essayist, and blogger of Bible teachings for life application (http://davidwgibson.org/). He is also a Christian conference and retreat speaker, an adjunct professor of World Religions, and the former host of radio’s “Walking with the Master”.  David is an ordained pastor and was a pastoral counselor in the NJ prison system and a NJ psychiatric hospital. He received his Clinical Pastoral Education at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He was freed from his addictions over 25 years ago.

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