A good friend sent me a note yesterday. I had written to him, thanking him for his partnership and mentorship over the years as we’ve worked together in ministry. His letter was a great encouragement —
At church I am in a 5 person rotation for leading opening hymns and prayers and scripture. I was leader yesterday, and the Psalm was Psalm 15 (see below). Without necessarily naming these ideals specifically, I feel we have tried to live by them in our dealings, and it has borne great fruit in our lives and for the lives of others.
Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?
The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things will never be shaken.
note: I will point out that I believe under the New Covenant we are not to despise people. Our battle isn’t against human beings; it’s a spiritual battle. We’re to despise (feel contempt or a deep repugnance for) vile spirits and attitudes. I’ve experienced plenty of extortion, gossip, manipulation, etc, all of which I despise. I love the extortionists, the gossips and the manipulators. (Or at least I’m working on it.)
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8