A Psalm of David.
“I will sing of Your Love and Justice, LORD. I will praise You with songs. I will be careful to live a blameless life— when will You come to help me?
I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them. I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil. I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride.
I will search for faithful people to be my companions. Only those who are above reproach will be allowed to serve me. I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house, and liars will not stay in my presence.
My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked and free the city of the LORD from their grip.” – Psalms 101:1-8 NLT (http://bible.com/116/psa.101.1-8.NLT)
Sounds pretty harsh, right? I doubt very much that there are many people today who could honestly say that they are blameless, and we know that David was far from blameless himself. He was a murderer and an adulterer…. I wonder how many people younger than the Baby Boomer generation even know what being an adulterer means.
Rereading verses 2b-5, it’s difficult to imagine many business people can say that they apply to their business. Working in corporate offices, even for private, Christian companies, I can bear witness to to all of those things occurring. Coworkers and management alike using gossip and slander to get ahead; dishonestly taking credit for someone else’s work, and accepting rewards and kudos for it. “In my own home …” Whether in my house or my vehicle or my office or my cubicle; at the movie theatre or amusement park …. it is often a struggle to live these words.
In my time, I have acted in all of those ways. In my last job, I was in a close working relationship with people claiming to be Christian, yet seeming to take delight from gossiping and spreading lies in order to promote themselves over their coworkers, and we’re full of conceit. Again, I must emphasize that I have also been full of conceit and lies in my past. I am far from perfect; I am guilty of many sins. It is difficult to not see all of the vulgarity in today’s society with billboards and signs proclaiming it in large format, and television and the movies are rampant with it. Clothing styles shout out perversions and prejudice and lack of modesty, and we just follow the crowd – instead of the cross.
Yes, I’m preaching again!
“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” – Galatians 1:10 NLT (http://bible.com/116/gal.1.10.NLT)
This verse from Paul’s letters to the Galatian church is how I struggle to live. I say “struggle” because it isn’t easy for me. I am a people pleaser from my childhood; a classic codependent whose life revolved around whoever I was with. About 9 1/2 years ago, I began to understand this about myself through a church program called Celebrate Recovery. Many people think/assume that because it is a 12-step program, you must be an alcoholic or drug addict if you participate. Not true. In fact, one of the leaders said this: “There are 2 types of people in this world. Those who are in recovery, and those who need to be in recovery.” I absolutely agree! Being a codependent isn’t something you just shake off, any more than you can shake off any other addiction, and there are lots of addictions. Shopping, eating, sports, work, animals, and even our children.
Some things to bear in mind.