2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
Psalm 15 is pretty clear on how God expects us to live. It looks easy, so why is it that we have so much trouble keeping God’s commands? Who of us has not gossiped, or broken a promise? We are told it is important to speak truth in our hearts, not just in our speech or actions.
Sin can sometimes be our inaction as well as our actions. We may not lend our money and expect to be repaid with an unfair interest, but what about a bribe against the innocent? A bribe doesn’t have to be money or gifts; sometimes it is the price one pays to be accepted by a group for not telling the truth. Truth be told, we can’t live blamelessly on our own.
We need God’s help. Some of the greatest saints have been the greatest sinners. Peter and Paul are two examples of this. They both thought they had it together:
– Peter had confidence in himself that he could be brave until Jesus was arrested and he gave into his fear to the point of betraying his best friend.
– Paul thought he knew what God wanted of him when he went about condemning the followers of Jesus.
Both needed help. Peter needed the forgiveness of Jesus to let him know that it is only with God’s help that he could face the trials that loomed ahead of him to the point of giving his life for Jesus. Paul needed more than a gentle push to see that he was not doing what God wanted but was attacking God himself. Once his eyes were opened, he listened and learned and gave the church an understanding of the Good News that is just as relevant today as it was then. He, too, found the strength to both live and die for Christ.
When we ask for help to live as witnesses for Christ, we will receive it. As Jesus told us, by ourselves we can do nothing, but with God’s help anything is possible.
Good and gracious God, remind us that you are always there to help us live as you want us to so that we may dwell with you for all eternity. Amen.