“Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts.”
Psalm 15:2 NLT
The word “blame” comes from the Latin meaning to blaspheme. I would certainly not want to blaspheme, or speak in opposition to God. Yet, here I discover that the way I live my life matters and blasphemy is reflected in my actions, not simply my words. The psalmist captures the fact that blameless lives are about the way we live, the actions we take and the words we use to communicate with God, ourselves and others.
I am a man of conflicting emotions, and like Paul I find myself doing what’s inappropriate, even as I know what I’m meant to be doing (Romans 7:15-20). Living a blameless life is not the natural consequence that follows from saying yes to Jesus.
I now approach this in three distinct ways. First, I review my behaviours. While I am aware of messing up pretty quickly, it’s not usually possible to reflect in that moment. Maybe the end of the day, as I consider all that’s happened, or over the weekend, as I reflect across the past week, offer a better, less emotionally charged time for objective reflection.
My next step is to consider what action might have better represented my love for God. This is important because I need to be appropriately robust in certain situations and God’s way is not the way of apology and giving ground. Don’t get me wrong, there may be a need for an apology for blameworthy behaviour, yet Jesus adopted a forthright approach, always wrapped in wisdom and presented with love.
Finally, I chat my life performance through with my wife and when next with my spiritual director; not seeking answers but for the benefit of acknowledging where I feel disappointed, having a standard I want to live by, and to invite useful observations, usually presented as questions for me to consider. Like the psalmist, questions provoke individual responsibility for personal growth.
How do you see the ‘blameless life’ the psalmist speaks of?
Lord, help me to do what is right and to speak truthfully.