This meditation of my heart

Published 9:18 pm Wednesday, November 6, 2019

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

The other day I was scrolling through Instagram feed of Cynthia Erivo, the British actress who portrays Harriet Tubman in the new movie “Harriet,” and I came across a post that was promoting voter participation. The video clip included a rather catchy tune, but the lyrics included the repetition of a profane word. I listened to the song several times. I knew that I had listened to it far too long when, later, I could not get the song out of my head. While it may have had a positive intent, the message included harmful content. It was harmful to me, because I am not a person who uses profanity.

I went to the Lord in prayer and asked Him to remove the song from my mind, as it was no longer cute. I had to repent for listening to it for too long. At that very moment in prayer, the scripture verse Psalm 19:14 popped in my head. It states, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” I didn’t get an immediate deliverance from the song, but later when another song continued to play in my mind, I noticed I could no longer remember the words to the jingle. Those words were replaced by the words of one of my favorite gospel artists, Koryn Hawthorne. The song now playing in my head was titled “Won’t He Do It.” God has a sense of humor.

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This is not the first time that God delivered me from profane language. I tried using profane language in my younger years. We all experiment with talking “big” when we are young. But it was my best friend in college who said to me, “it doesn’t sound right coming out of your mouth.” I haven’t been one to use profanity since, but I have an occasional slip.

It is important to be mindful of the words you speak, but it is also important to guard your heart with respect to the words that stick for too long. Messages will linger, especially when they are polished and presented in such a way to make them attractive. We must understand that we do not need everything that everyone has to say. Commercialism is the name of the game today. But you do not have to be a pawn when others want to play. Some messages have good intentions, but they may not be for you. Be okay with tuning out the wrong stuff.

The voter video clip was cute and inspiring. I hesitated to share it on my personal social media feed because of the profanity. While I agree with encouraging others to get out to vote, I do not agree with the manner of the video presentation and therefore, I must disagree with the creator’s messaging. Messaging influences the ways in which we process words and information. This brings me to the concern for this meditation of my heart.

When we process anything, whether it be food or words, it is going through a system in order to preserve it. And like food, we preserve words so that they are satisfying and useful. When I think about my meditation, I need words that are preserved in my heart that will be pleasing when I use them again. What is profane is not pleasing. I do not want profane language to come back in my communication with God.

When I realized that I couldn’t shake the jingle, I realized it was harming a clear communication channel that I cannot afford to be cluttered. I need that communication between me and my Heavenly Father. I cannot afford the heart communication that feeds my soul to have zero calories. Words can be empty. When words are mixed with tasteless messaging, words can lose meaning. God is teaching me how my words have a power that must be managed with care. We should be skilled and mindful users of our words. We have the power to preserve life.

QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of nonprofit leadership and management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via or via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.