by: Denise Robinson
Today's psalm is an individual's pledge of integrity and justice. It is attributed to a ruler/king, but as you read it, see what words you might pray in our own life.
I will sing of loyalty and of justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing. I will study the way that is blameless. When shall I attain it? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is base. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. Perverseness of heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil. One who secretly slanders a neighbor I will destroy. A haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not tolerate. I will look with favor on the faithful in the land .. whoever walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me. No one who practices deceit shall remain in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue in my presence. (Ps. 101)
In a church Bible study we have been reading the Epistle of James in the New Testament. In James 4:11-17, James discusses the harm caused by an arrogant heart and secret slanderous (evil) speech. Arrogance is a sin which God opposes because at its most basic level it elevates one person over another; however, it can also lead to violence and even to murder. The psalmist apparently knows the damage that can be caused by such behavior and thinking, and expresses his desire that such people be kept far from him and his house. The psalmist pledges to "walk with integrity of heart" within his house and not set before his eyes anything that is "base." What do those words mean to you? Have you - or will you - make that pledge part of your life?
Prayer: God, help me to study the way of those who are blameless, who walk with integrity of heart. Help me to do the same and forgive me when I fall short. Help me to focus on your truth and wisdom rather than the wisdom of this world which is so often not wisdom at all. Help me not to be arrogant, but to be humble and to serve others. Help me to speak to lift people up rather than tear them down. Help me to know nothing of evil, but to know everything of your grace and love and to show that grace and love to others. Amen.