Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret,
him will I put to silence;
whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart,
him will I not endure.
My eyes will be on the faithful in the land,
that they may dwell with me;
he whose walk is blameless
will minister to me.
We cannot walk with God without agreeing with Him on moral issues.
As we follow Christ we find that others also are seeking to follow Christ and our fellowship with be with them, if our faith is sincere. Common believing hearts find one another and encourage faithfulness to the Lord.
There is only one standard of discipleship and that is complete devotion – anything less than our all for God is inadequate. Love will cover over a multitude of sins; devotion to Christ will often be expressed in patience toward those less devoted. The psalmist was describing the half-heartedness of the would-be spiritual leader. He is the one (or she) that we can have no fellowship with. Slander comes from pride and hard-heartedness and there is more than enough of that to go around. We are to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15), and when the either the truth or the motive of love is absent from our thoughts then the other will also likely be absent.
We are to not only shun those who slander others but we are also to notice the “faithful in the land,” and seek their fellowship. We are only so strong as our support. First, our support comes from Christ’s Spirit who indwells us, seals our spirits with His promise, and strengthens our faith. But He also uses our associations to encourage and strengthen us.
Salvation is often misunderstood. It means not only to escape judgment, but it also means to escape or to be redeemed from the lesser purposes of the human race, to be purchased by God for His purposes to reign in our hearts and lives. We are lifted to a higher plane that we would find among mere human society. We are given a more noble purpose, a greater ethic, and a deeper knowledge and walk with God. We humans are social creatures and we will be restless until we find some ones with whom we can share our common faith, common experience, and common commitment to the Lord. There, among the fellowship of believers, is encouragement and love.
Who encourages you to a full commitment to the Lord? Find those people and be close to them.
Lord, lead me in the way everlasting. Convict me when I start to slander my neighbor and let the words of my mouth bring honor and glory to You. Thank You for the believing friends You have given me. Lead me to find friends whose hearts are committed to You, and use them in my life to purify my motives, to deepen my faith, and to challenge and encourage me in my pursuit of You. May I in turn be a blessing to them. Amen.