Dealing with Lapsed Christians

Scripture: Psalm 101:3, ‘I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.’

 

Observations: This Psalm is a commitment to follow the ways of the Lord, and to stay away from those who have rejected God’s way. It’s helpful to remember that the psalmist lived amongst God’s covenant people, so he is speaking not of pagan’s but of disobedient Israelites, ‘those who have fallen away.’ As far as he is concerned he will commit himself to ‘singing of steadfast love and justice (v1), and ‘walking with integrity of heart (v2).’ But when it comes to those who have fallen away, he says ‘I will know nothing of evil, (v4)’ he won’t have anything to do with slanderers and people with arrogant hearts (v5), and he won’t even allow those who practice deceit and lies to dwell in his house (v7). For he ‘hates the work’ of those who have turned their back on the Lord. In fact he pushes their deeds away from him, he refuses to look upon such things.

 

Application: How strongly do you reject sin in the lives of other Christians? Paul actually says ‘you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. (1 Cor 5:11)’ As followers of Christ are we passionate about living in a way that honours Jesus, and are we passionate to see others honour Jesus? On the flip side that means we should be deeply offended when someone who calls himself a Christian dishonours Jesus. The church should be a place where we are encouraged to live holy lives, to walk with integrity of heart, and where we hate the work of those who have fallen away, where we will not let it cling to us or even look upon it.

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me when I fall short of Your glory and when I bring dishonor to the name of Your Son, Jesus. Lord, I want to walk with integrity of heart, and I want to be ministered to by those whose walk is blameless. So Lord, surround me with people who love You and desire to live their lives for Your honour and glory. Lord, help me to stay away from evil and those who have rejected You and Your ways. May I not allow sin to creep into my life. May bad habits not cling to me. May my eyes not look upon anything that is worthless in Your sight. Lord, may I be holy as You are holy, and may Your people be a holy people. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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