Low and Vulgar Things
“I will try to walk a blameless path, but how I need your help, especially in my own home, where I long to act as I should. Help me to refuse the low and vulgar things…” (Psalm 101:2-3 LB)
One day loved ones will gather around our graves to pay their final respects. The presiding minister will either have the happy privilege of being able to point to our lives as clear cut examples of what the Christian life should be or he will have the unhappy task of exaggerating our good qualities and graciously sidestepping the truth about what we were really like.
Family members know the real story, of course. They are the ones who know the reality of a person’s profession of faith. The psalmist here seems to understand that our spirituality is first marked by our lifestyle at home.
I believe one of the real benchmarks of the lives of Christians today is how they handle all of the many temptations that come with television and the Internet. The standard of righteousness within the Christian population of the United States has dropped so low that hardly anyone believes that they need to guard themselves from the kind of gross sin depicted in normal television programming. So long as they aren’t seeing actual nudity they are quite content to view all kinds of carnality and worldliness.
I suspect if this psalmist was transported into our time and could sit down with a typical Christian family as they gather around the TV set, he would be stunned at what they were shamelessly viewing. Consider this phrase in some other translations; allow the redundancy of these words to penetrate your heart:
- I refuse to take a second look at corrupting people and degrading things… (MSG)
- I will set no base thing before mine eyes… (DeW)
- I will not have anything unworthy in my presence… (Har)
- I will not allow a base thought to attract my attention… (Ber)
This man obviously lived a very righteous life with God. He refused to allow the ungodly culture in which he lived to shape and influence his life. He did his utmost to shun and avoid every form of sin.
And how about you? If this man dropped in for a visit to your home, what would he find? Would he see sincere believers who are walking “a blameless path?” Or would he discover those who regularly compromise with what they know to be sinful and worldly?