Psalm 118:15 says this: “The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of the righteous.”
Because we are a transformed people, made new in the image of Christ, our homes are different from the other homes on the block. The homes of the unsaved are full of the sounds of bickering, murmuring, conflicts, and strife, and these sounds sometimes drift across the street. It is their nature to be at odds with one another, children against parents, husbands against wives, neighbor against neighbor. We should not expect non-Christians to act like Christians. But we should expect Christians to behave like Christians, especially when we consider ourselves (not our neighbor).
The tents of the righteous are filled with the sounds of salvation. And what does salvation sound like? It sounds like joy. Rejoicing. Lots of singing, and not just at Christmas. When the kids are playing in the back yard and you call them in for dinner, the neighbors should hear the sounds of salvation. When your windows are open in the warm weather, the sounds of salvation and rejoicing should be floating out across the neighborhood. Imagine walking through a neighborhood with these sounds coming out of every house or two. What a glory! We should not try to keep our rejoicing quiet so the neighbors won’t hear.
But, you may say, we all sin. Yes, sadly, that’s the case. But it is in our power to resist temptation, and it is also necessary that we confess our sins. If your neighbor heard you scolding your child in the back yard when you were impatient and unkind, your confession should be to God, your child, and your neighbor. You should seek God’s forgiveness and your child’s forgiveness, but you don’t need to seek your neighbor’s forgiveness. But you should say something like this: “I lost my patience with my child, and I’m afraid you heard me do it. That was very bad behavior on my part. I have confessed my sin to God, and I have asked my child to forgive me. I just wanted you to know.”
When we hold ourselves accountable in this way, it is amazing how it helps us resist future temptation. No one likes to have to go next door to apologize. So next time the kids are misbehaving in the back yard, we make sure we are not misbehaving in the back yard as well. We guard our hearts and minds, and correct our children with the voice of salvation and joy. Why? Because we are the righteous, and we ought to live like we believe it.