1I will sing of your love and justice. I will praise you, LORD, with songs.
2I will be careful to live a blameless life—when will you come to my aid? I will lead a life of integrity in my own home.
3I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all crooked dealings; I will have nothing to do with them.
4I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil.
5I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride.
6I will keep a protective eye on the godly, so they may dwell with me in safety. Only those who are above reproach will be allowed to serve me.
7I will not allow deceivers to serve me, and liars will not be allowed to enter my presence.
8My daily task will be to ferret out criminals and free the city of the LORD from their grip.
(Psalm 101: 1-8, NLT)
The Daily DAVEotional
Billy Graham lived to be 100 years old and he was never a part of any kind of moral scandal. His son, Franklin Graham, explained here that Billy Graham lived by a principle that has come to be known by many as “The Billy Graham Rule” which, simply put, was a principle of never being alone with a woman other than his wife.
So Billy would never take a car ride alone with another woman or meet another woman for lunch, even if it was business or ministry related. He always met in a public place and required one of his assistants to be there with him.
If these “rules” sound extreme, it’s because they are. But they are effective as well. Billy knew that if he had a failure, and Lord knows that there are many godly men who have, it wouldn’t just be a stain on his own reputation, but it would affect the image of Jesus himself.
This Psalm reflects the spirit of a leader who is deeply committed to living a life of integrity and lifting up the name of the Lord.
The psalmist begins with an attitude of praise and thanksgiving before making a number of character-based commitments. Among them are:
- a commitment to living a blameless life
- a commitment to integrity
- a refusal to look at anything vile and vulgar
- a hatred for and rejection of all crooked dealings
- a rejection of perverse ideas – avoiding evil at all costs
- an intolerance for people who slander others
- keeping a protective eye on the godly
- only allowing those who are above reproach the opportunity to serve them
- not allowing deceivers to be personal servants
- avoiding those who are liars altogether
- pursuing the daily task of ferreting out criminals
- performing the daily task of seeking to free the city of the Lord (Jerusalem) from the grip of criminals
We live in a culture where temptations abound. The opportunity to slip up morally is more prevalent now than ever.
In addition, due to technological advances, scrutiny from those who might seek to capitalize on our mis-steps is also higher than ever.
In other words, there are more temptations than ever and more watchful eyes than ever. Therefore, the chances that our secret sins will eventually come to light are also greater than ever.
Leaders who want to live with integrity would do well to have a plan and to be intentional about placing safeguards within their lives to protect them from making the kinds of catastrophic mistakes that have drastic and long-term effects.
This Psalm is a great example of intentionality to a life of integrity, purpose and honor.
What are some examples of Christians you know or know of who have experienced a moral failure?
What personal steps have you taken to live with integrity and honor? What kinds of principles or guidelines have you put in place in order to reduce the risk of a moral failure?
What are some situations or circumstances where you would be most likely to compromise?
Which of the items in the above list would be most challenging to you?
Photo by Hiroshi Kimura on Unsplash