Reading through the Bible together
Have you ever noticed that sometimes people bond over difficult experiences? I have also observed that I feel closer to people when we are both complaining about the same thing or about the same person. Unfortunately, this can sometimes mean that I am tempted to be critical about someone (perhaps my employer or a mutual friend or church member) in order to have something in common with someone else. God calls this “slander” and reminds us that it is not the sort of thing that will happen when we are abiding in His presence.
This is a very intimidating Psalm to me. I am so very far from this sort of blamelessness. The ideals set up here really raise the standard for what it means to be God’s representative in the world. I am all too tempted to listen to gossip and I am very quick to give up on tasks that I’ve been assigned when the going gets tough.
The psalmist says that God wants us to stand firm and reflect Him –especially in how we treat each other. The generosity, honesty, and kindness described here are the attributes of those who are living out the values of the Kingdom of God.
Lisa Clark Diller
Chair, Dept. of History and Political Studies
Southern Adventist University