We are most often the central subject of our thoughts and conversation. This preoccupation indicates a self-observed life, which is our greatest problem. Worried about what people think of who we are, what we look like, and what we’ve done, we unconsciously place the “I” in the forefront.

It is not wrong to think about ourselves … IF we do not forget the divine pronoun. If we lose its usage, or place it in the wrong order, we lose everything.

The Right Order

It was King David’s humility, seen in Psalm 139 and throughout his life, that led him to think of God first. We often view this psalm as if it is all about us. It has brought unbelievable comfort to millions for over 3,000 years.

But that is because it is not about us, although we are involved. We are the secondary subject.

As David’s praise spilled out before God, the pronoun You or its equivalent was used 29 times in 24 verses. That’s because God is the primary subject.

David measured himself only in light of God’s character and care. His opinion of his life was not shaped by humanistic thinking, but by the magnitude of the divine.

In each succeeding section, David progressively saw himself, but only because of his progressive understanding about God. Read the whole psalm carefully, but notice the theme of each stanza.

  • YOU know me … completely and lovingly (vv. 1-6).
  • YOU are with me … no matter where I go (vv. 7-12).
  • YOU made me … beautifully, and ordained all my days (vv. 13-16).
  • YOU overwhelm me … with Your inexhaustible mind (vv. 17-18).
  • YOU are worth honoring … at all costs (vv. 19-22).

Carefully review each of these astounding truths. You will soon realize that these five foundational thoughts about God, once believed and embraced, change everything.

Every fear is alleviated, every doubt dismissed, every worry erased as we remember the comprehensiveness of God toward us, from the womb to the grave. Every purpose for life is realized in finding Him.

The Right Response

There is one response when you are enraptured with this pronoun. Isaiah was overwhelmed by it; Peter fell at Christ’s feet because of it; David expressed it in the final verses of this psalm. It is the inevitable prayer for all of those who encounter the great I AM:

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way (vv. 23-24 NASB).

When our pronouns are placed in their right order, we instantly see our need for His cleansing. We are content only with His all-seeing, all-understanding evaluation of our lives. And we long for the leadership of the One who knows us best and loves us most.

Father, I pray that You would become the great subject of my life. Deliver me from narcissistic obsessions. Turn my gaze to the One who corrects and redeems every part. Let me see myself in the light of You, and let my thoughts of myself flow only from an upward gaze.