“LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellow man.” Psalm 15:1-3
Obviously, none of us can be perfect. We can’t be fully blameless apart from the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Yet these verses tell us what is important to God. They challenge us to pursue righteousness. What matters to God? Speaking the truth from our hearts. God hates lying (Proverbs 6:16-17) He wants us to speak the truth. We can’t do it perfectly but we can seek to do better. What matters to God? He does not want us to use our tongues to slander others. Slander involves untruth that harms another’s reputation. It could also be called gossip and King James says, “Backbiteth not”. There is a malicious intention with slander. What matters to God? We are to do our neighbor no wrong. This is an intention to do harm. Jesus took it further when He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself” Matthew 22:39. Proverbs 15:3 says to cast no slur on our fellow man. Many translations say, “Does not take up a reproach”. This means to carry a reproach. This says to me that we decide to carry something in our hearts against our neighbor (friend, fellow-man). And we usually make sure everyone knows about it. God does not want us to make it our job to point out the faults of others or to turn others against each other. He says forgive when someone offends us. Colossians 3:4 “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” God wants us to walk in love, forgiveness and grace towards others and for our speech to reflect that. We don’t have to point out the faults, mistakes or sins of other people.
I wish I could say I do this perfectly! I do not! I fall into sin with my tongue way too often. James 3:8 says, “But no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” But we can grow, mature, repent when we know we have sinned and seek to please Him. I want my heart to be filled with truth and my tongue to speak the truth in love.
Father, please deliver me from gossip, speculation, lies and evil intentions towards others. Help me walk in truth. Help me love others. Holy Spirit, please put a guard on my mouth. Help me stop and think before I speak and to know if what I want to say will do harm or will help. Lord, I know I can’t be perfect in this. Thank you for your grace. Thank you that you always show me grace, forgiveness and love. Help me grow in this so that I can do better. May your will be done in me.