1 Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?
Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
2 Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
3 Those who refuse to gossip
or harm their neighbors
or speak evil of their friends.
4 Those who despise flagrant sinners,
and honor the faithful followers of the Lord,
and keep their promises even when it hurts.
5 Those who lend money without charging interest,
and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent.
Such people will stand firm forever.
I have heard the comment ‘Nobody’s perfect’ so many times in my life, and I realised how much a cop-out this is when I was reading this Psalm. If I don’t think I can reach perfection, I will never strive to get it – and the worst bit of that is that I will feel content, or maybe evenÂ comfortable, in my failure!
Yet this Psalm tells me that I have to be perfect. And I know what many Christians say – “We are sinners, so we cannot be perfect.” They then say that we can become perfect by repenting and seeking forgiveness. The blood of Christ washes us clean. But that is a cop-out too! My Bible tells me that all have sinned, not that we should keep doing it!
This Psalm tells me that, if I am to worship God, I have to live a blameless life and do what is right, I have to speak the truth, not gossip, not harm my neighbour (anyone) and not slander my friends. It doesn’t say that when I do anything wrong I can seek forgiveness, then worship. I have to strive for perfection.
And if you say, “Well that’s all from the Old Testament,” or “Only God is perfect,” then let me point you to Matthew 5:48, where Jesus tells me, ‘But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.’