the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes…But who can detect their errors? Clear me from hidden faults.” vss. 8, 12Psalm 19:7-14
The psalmist loved the law–he found comfort and direction from its precepts and commandments. As he lived with it and learned obedience he experienced daily joy and enlightenment. But he also knew that he could do better! He knew in his heart that he wasn’t perfect and that he had faults hidden to himself, that were likely well-known to others. Every one of us has the same issue. No matter how hard we try we regularly fall short of perfection, and what’s even worse, sometimes we don’t even realize that we have a problem. Others do–they can see our imperfections clearly–but we are blind to what is obvious to them. For some this is a debilitating issue–they focus on their sinfulness, and become obsessed with living perfectly. And as Martin Luther discovered, after countless sessions with his confessor, we just can’t pull it off–we can’t clear ourselves from our faults, hidden or otherwise. So what can we do? There’s only one reasonable answer: we learn to live in grace and humility, dependent on God for forgiveness and confident that the Spirit can use us for goodness’ sake. There is indeed great value in living according to universal truths, but there’s even greater reward in the contentment that comes in learning to live with our imperfections.
Thought for the Day: What are my imperfections?