We’re closing out the week of posts here with a look at Psalm 15. One major part of this psalm that I’m writing about is gossip, an issue I think just about everyone struggles with. I love how the Bible addresses topics like this. If you really dive into it and open your mind and heart to it, the word of God will speak to you on just about every subject there is. It’s a wondrous thing, it really is.
In this Psalm written by David, he asks who can reside with the Lord. David provides a list of qualifications for the kind of person who might reside with the Lord.
Psalm 15:2-3 He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; 3 who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
There’s a lot here that caught my eye. The word slander really stood out to me. We slander someone when we make a false spoken statement that’s damaging to their reputation. I think a lot of us accomplish this through gossip. Even the act of repeating gossip can be slander, because how do we know the gossip we heard was true in the first place? And I know what you may be thinking. Most of us give a little disclaimer when we gossip, as if it absolves us from responsibility. Here’s an example.
“Now look, Greg’s the one who told me this, so I don’t know how much of it is true, but apparently Cindy missed church last Wednesday because she was in jail. He thinks it was for drunk driving, but it might be because she went off on somebody. We all know how her temper can get sometimes, so I could believe that she’d haul off and hit someone.”
Let’s all be real honest with ourselves here. Our cute little disclaimers we put at the front of gossip don’t somehow absolve us of being a gossiper, and many times, a slanderer. And I say us, because yes, like just about every human alive, I struggle with gossip. I’m a reporter! I always want to know what’s going on, and it’s in my nature to want a behind the scenes “scoop”. But gossip never leads anywhere good, and it’s even worse when you consider how often gossip devolves into slander.
The other thing in this verse that jumps out at me is what it says about how we treat our friends. The verse uses the word reproach, which means “the expression of disapproval or disappointment”. Sometimes it’s crazy how we treat our closest friends, isn’t it? I don’t know what it is about us as humans, but we tend to be nastiest to those who are closest to us. I love that David saw fit to add this line into this Psalm, because I think how a person treats their closest friends really says a lot about them. Those who trust us with their feelings and with their secrets should be the ones we protect and love with a special love. It’s really cool to me that the bible talks about this, and it really pulls me back to something you’ve heard me say several times on this blog. A lot of the bible boils down to being a good person. And part of being a good person is being a good friend. I think that it’s prudent to really examine our friendships from time to time. Take a long, hard, honest look at how we treat those close to us, and if you discover any ways in which you’re not treating those people how they deserve to be treated, go and apologize. Tell them you care for them, and that you’re going to work on being a better friend to them. They love you, they’ll understand, and I guarantee that your action will make the two of you even closer friends than you were before.
I actually stopped writing this and went and had an honest conversation with my best friend/roommate about how I’ve treated him in the past. It wasn’t anything major, but there was something I used to do that I knew he didn’t appreciate, and yet I’d still do it. So I apologized about it, and we had a great conversation about our friendship. So yes, men, I’m talking to you here just as much as I’m talking to women. I despise the idea that real men don’t talk about their feelings and emotions, I just despise it. Relationships are at the core of a walk with Jesus, and relationships don’t work without honest, real communication. So if you’re a man out there who’s struggled with this sort of thing before, I just want to encourage you to work on this. If you need a trial run, let me know and you can talk to me about your feelings. I’m a renowned softy, I’ll talk about feelings and emotions all day!
This psalm closes out with a gorgeous sentence. It first finishes up listing the qualities of someone who might reside with the Lord, then it closes out with a powerful statement.
Psalm 15:5 who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.
It’s that last sentence I want to highlight. “He who does these things shall never be moved.” I feel like the idea of footing has been ever present in my life over the past few weeks. Standing fast, keeping your feet firmly planted on the foundation of Jesus, not stumbling in our walk with Christ, these principles seem to be repeating in my life. It all started with an actual physical stumble I had recently, which aside from bruising my knee and embarrassing me, was mostly a harmless situation. But it did unsettle me a little, because it’s never fun to feel unsteady. But since then I’ve had several reminders about spiritual footing. So I love the fact that this psalm closed out how it did. If we’re living holy, righteous lives, then we shall never be moved. Living in a manner that fits Psalm 15’s list of qualities isn’t easy, but I want to get to a place where it defines my life. Because I want to be someone so deeply rooted in the truths and lifestyle of the Lord that I shall never be moved.
CLOSING AND PRAYER
Well, we’re at the end of another week of posts. I had a very calm week, which is nice because I’m heading into some busy times at my job. We’ll keep digging into the book of Psalms next week as I continue my push to study the first 24.
For prayers today, I want to pray for power. God equips us to go out and spread His good news, and He gives us the Holy Spirit to help in that endeavor. We should walk in power and confidence when we’re spreading the gospel of our Lord. It’s a big point of weakness for me right now, but I want God to make it into a strength. So for prayers, let’s ask God for boldness and for power anytime we have a chance to spread His good news.
Alright, that is it friends. I love you guys, but any love I can feel is dwarfed beyond measure by the love that God has for each of us. He cares so deeply and dearly for each one of you guys out there. Walk in that truth as you head into your weekend.