“Declare me innocent, O Lord, for I have acted with integrity; I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart. For I am always aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth. I do not spend time with liars or go along with hypocrites. I hate the gatherings of those who do evil, and I refuse to join in with the wicked. I wash my hands to declare my innocence. I come to your altar, O Lord, singing a song of thanksgiving and telling of all your wonders. I love your sanctuary, Lord, the place where your glorious presence dwells. Don’t let me suffer the fate of sinners. Don’t condemn me along with murderers. Their hands are dirty with evil schemes, and they constantly take bribes. But I am not like that; I live with integrity. So redeem me and show me mercy. Now I stand on solid ground, and I will publicly praise the Lord.” Psalms 26:1-12 NLT
Something interesting I noticed in this passage, is that being declared innocent or having integrity is associated with or corroborated by the fact that David doesn’t spend time with liars and hypocrites. We all understand that those we hangout around or spend time with effect our behaviors. What this brings to mind, is we’re called to be in right relationship with God and man. How do we carry out being in right relationship with man or bringing them into right relationship with God? How do we do this if we have some sort of separation we’re called to have? Like Matthew 5:27-30 this can apply to people, places, and things. But then we see Jesus hanging out with sinners, liars, prostitutes, and tax collectors. This dichotomy of being called to separate yourself from others sin or things that might lead you to sin but also interact with people on a meaningful level. This is a struggle that we as Christians need to stand in the tension of constantly discerning. The work of everyday figuring out how best to do right by God and man.
This post first appeared on my personal website.