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Sincere and blameless
- Jacob Ninan
Let us say we want to be pleasing to the Lord in everything at all times. Does that mean that we are actually able to do everything right? Of course not. Many times we are ignorant of what is the right thing to do. Sometimes even when we know what we should do, other people and circumstances make it impossible for us to do it. Sometimes we know what we ought to do but we are unable to do it because of our own weakness or lack of ability. This being the case, does God demand that we should be always doing the right thing? In other words, is God the type of person to require that we should do what is impossible for us at any time?
The answer is obvious. God is not unreasonable to ask for what He has not given (See Mt.25:26). God does not ask a man with one 'talent' to produce as much as those who had two or four talents. If we are not in a position to do something due to circumstances beyond our control, God does not expect us to do that. That takes away a lot of unnecessary guilt, doesn't it?
But then, what does God expect from us? Certainly He expects us to do what we can, and when we can't, He expects us to ask Him for help. But the bottom line is that He expects us to sincerely want to do what is right.
"Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the LORD'S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?" (De.10:12,13). "And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?" (Mi.6:8). Yes, we ought to do what is right in God's sight. But at the least our hearts must be right before Him.
It is very comforting to know, for all those who are seeking to be pleasing to the Lord, that if we are sincere in that desire, God counts us blameless! (Php.1:9,10). God tells us in this passage that in order to be sincere and blameless before Him we ought to abound in love and increase in knowledge and discernment. 'Love' refers to our attitude, and seeking for better understanding and discernment refers to our desire to become better and to do things better and better.
This is what it takes to be blameless before God. We want to do right, and we are constantly seeking to do it better. Come to think of it, can anyone do anything better than this?
For God, what we do is less important than why we do it. That speaks about our attitude and intentions. God who looks more at our heart than what is seen outside is delighted if He sees a heart that is blameless (1Sa.16:7;He.4:12;1Co.4:5). How comforting this is, when we keep finding our words and actions nearly always coming short of what is perfect!
Yes, the challenge for us is to keep our heart always right (Pr.4:23).