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. Psalm 101: 3-5 NLT
I don't know about you, but the psalmist in Psalm 101 seems to be painting himself into a corner. He won't see, hear or speak evil. Where is he to live? Where will he work? How will he interact in the real world with real people and messy situations?
In today's world, you can refuse to look at the news because of all the violence and cruelty pictured in it. But how will you know what is going on around you? Can you even vote with integrity if you don't know what the world is like? Will you know how to pray if you isolate yourself from the world?
Sure, you can hate those who don't have honest business practices. But are you really going to be able to have nothing to do with them?
Rejecting perverse ideas is a good thought but is it not better to understand them in order to really know where your own ideas stand?
Yes, please stay away from evil as much as possible but some evils cannot be avoided.
Not tolerating people who slander their neighbors sounds like someone who would have stood up for justice during the Civil Rights era. However, the psalmist makes it sound more like building a fence so you won't have to look at your neighbor.
And saying you won't endure conceit and pride sounds ...well... conceited and prideful.
God, we want to be pure in our lives and our minds yet you require us to live in this world. Deliver us from evil. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2012 Amelia G. Sims