I Will Cut Off

Read it! Psalm 101

The perverse of heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with what is evil.

(vs. 4)

Think it through

This past Mother’s Day our pastor (Ken Murphy at Cypress) gave a great sermon from Judges 4 about, among other things, a woman named Jael. Just as a refresher, Jael was the gal who used a hammer to drive a tent peg through the head of a Canaanite military commander. She hammered so forcefully that the peg went into the ground below.

So, that was a fun Mother’s Day story! Truly, Pastor Ken made a fantastic point: sometimes we need to take a sin and kill it. Drive a tent peg through it and be done.

I was strongly reminded of Jael’s story when I read the “I will’s” in Psalm 101:

  • I will be careful to lead a blameless life…
  • I will conduct the affairs of my household with a blameless heart.
  • I will not look with approval on anything that is vile.
  • I will have no part [of what faithless people do]…
  • I will have nothing to do with what is evil.
  • I will put to silence [whoever slanderers, the wicked in the land]…
  • I will not tolerate [haughty eyes, a proud heart]…
  • I will cut off every evildoer…

 

A part of me would like to focus this post on the sins we can and should put a dead stop to. Those things that we let creep in… for me, it’s a little gluttony here, a little loose talk there, a little to much wishing for more. I’m definitely working driving a tent peg through those things (and we’ll talk more about that on Day 6).

But in Psalm 101, David is mostly talking about eschewing other people—people who are faithless.

As followers of Jesus, we’re called to love, serve, and interact with the faithless in many, many ways. How else can we influence them for Christ? Our “I will” series confirms that wholeheartedly. For example, Psalm 51:13 reads, “Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.”

Hanging out with unbelievers is exactly what we’re supposed to do—just as long as we’re focused on being influencers, and not allowing ourselves to be influenced.

I have a friend, a Christian friend actually, whose personality was a bad influence on me. After we met together, my spirit felt cluttered.  I’d feel as though I’d participated in a gossip session (even if I’d tried to change the subject). I also came away felling deeply dissatisfied with my body, and my amount of “stuff.” I had to stop spending time with her for a while, at least until I could get myself in the mind frame that my meetings with her should be a “pouring out love on her” time, not a restful, building up time of friendship for me.

Is this reminding you of one of your relationships?

 

Live it like you mean it

Is there a particular person in your life who’s pushing you away from God instead of toward Him? Who has undue influence on you?

This week’s challenge has two parts:

  1. Don’t get out your tent peg, but do consider cutting off that relationship, at least for a time. Choose not to spend time with a person who tempts you to slander others, embrace pride, or otherwise sin. Pray that the Lord will give you an extra dose of strength of heart for that person, so that you’ll be ready to (possibly) renew the relationship according to His calling for His purpose.
  2. Read verse 6 again: “My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they will dwell with me; that one whose walk is blameless will minister to me.” Look for a faithful person you admire, perhaps at church, and ask them out for coffee. Get something on the calendar, then get to know them a little better and let your heart be mentored by them.

If David needed to keep a close eye on whom he chose to be his close friends, then so do we.

 

Lift it up

Jesus, I want my close relationships to glorify You in a special, blameless way. Please reveal to me the undue influence of any friend. Protect my heart. Give me a dose of Your strength so I can shine for You. And bring faithful brothers and sisters into my life that they may dwell with me and minister to me. I give You all honor and praise for being my closest friend, Jesus. Amen.

 

Tell Me About It

What are the great qualities of the faithful in your land—those you’re seeking out to dwell with you and minister to you? I’d love to hear about your mentors in faith!

If you’d like to learn more about using a little organization to strengthen relationships, then ask your women’s ministry lead to have me speak at your church on Christian Hospitality… and check out my first book, Organizing You.

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