1 I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music. 2 I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; 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. 4 A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil. (Psalm 101:1–4 ESV)
As we enter a new year it is very popular to engage in the practice of New Year’s resolutions. Most resolutions are about physical things. We often will make a resolution that the diet begins for the new year. Now we are going to exercise. Now we are going to eat healthier. Now we are going to be more active. There are any number of resolutions that we tend to make, whether written down or simply as a desire within us to do better. We need to a goal to set before our eyes and then give our effort to reach that goal. The apostle Paul spoke in goal oriented terms when he said that he pressed on to the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. The scriptures are not foreign to the idea of making resolutions and commitments before God. If we are going to live a godly life, we need to make a decision and a commitment to live that way. A godly life does not occur by accident. As we read these let us consider how to make the same godly resolutions for our lives.
I Will Praise The Lord (101:1)
The first declaration of David is that he will sing of steadfast love and justice to the Lord. David basks in the joy of God’s steadfast love and goodness. Singing is the movement of the heart. This is why God described our worship to him as “singing and making music in our hearts to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19). The heart moved by the love of God leads to a joyful song. It is not just that we sing songs. God does not care about words being put to music. The point is that the heart is motivated to sing. David does not say that I sing to the Lord because I have to. David will sing because of God’s steadfast love and justice.
This knowledge is the motivation for all of our actions. We must not turn the love of God into the drudgery of obedience. It is the difference between bringing flowers or giving a gift to your spouse because you want to or because you have to. The act is the same but the motivation makes all the difference. We need to have grace-driven obedience.
I Will Pay Careful Attention To The Blameless Path (101:2)
David envisions a life of careful consideration of the proper path to walk in life. We are presented with numerous choices each day. What path will we take? Solomon as the wise teacher instructs, “Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.” (Proverbs 4:26 ESV)
However, Solomon also describes those whose path leads to destruction. He pictures the forbidden woman and says:
“Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol; she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it.” (Proverbs 5:5–6 ESV)
Notice that the difference is the careful consideration of the path you are taking. She does not think about which path is the path of life. She just wanders all over the place. How often we fail to calculate our life choices! How often we do not consider the spiritual gravity of the choices we make. Jesus was very clear about the two paths that lie before us each day.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13–14 NIV)
The right path to take is not the obvious path. The obvious decision is often the decision that leads to destruction. That is why so many take the wrong path. David says that he will consider the way of the blameless life. We will think about how to live wisely and not mindlessly make the journey. Consider your ways and think about which way you go so that your choice does not lead to your destruction.
I Will Walk With Integrity (101:2)
Third, David says he will walk with integrity of heart within his house. It is easy to try to fool others with your righteous living and then live completely differently at home. The godly do not do this. God wants integrity of heart in the house, behind closed doors, when no one is looking. We will train our children in the way of the Lord, full of instruction and discipline. We will remain faithful to our spouse. We will be the husbands and wives that we are supposed to be for each other. We will not put on a show for everyone else. Integrity of heart means that we will not be false in public, pretending to be something that we are not. The family relationship that we see must be the family relationship that exists in the home when no one else sees. We will treat our family in a godly way, just as Ephesians 5-6 describes. The home is the proving ground of our Christianity, not the shield where we ignore all of God’s commands.
I Will Not Set Worthless Things Before My Eyes (101:3)
This is a commitment to redeem the time and make the most of the time God has given us. We will take advantage of opportunities to keep worthless things away from our eyes so that we can have valuable things before us. We waste so much time on the internet, spending time on worthless things. This time could be far better spent. How often we spend our time reading status updates but never checking the status of our own hearts by reading God’s word, meditating on his teaching, and spending time in prayer! Further, David says he will not get entangled with the evil of the world. People are going to try to get you entangled in worthless and sinful things. Your friends, your co-workers, your employers, your neighbors, and the like are going to be used as tools of evil to get you to do what is sinful. You will be tempted to turn away from the Lord, to cave in on the clear teaching of God’s word. When we see people lying or cheating or stealing, we will not approve of it. We will not engage in it ourselves. We will hate those evil works. We will see our lives as a display for the glory of Jesus. Therefore I cannot let worthless things occupy my time. I will not be caught up with those who participate in evil. This leads to the next resolution.
I Will Be Pure (101:4)
We need to make a covenant of purity before the Lord. We will keep a perverse heart far from us and know nothing of evil. We will have no relationship with evil. We will be ignorant of evil things. We will live in purity. We will be pure in our minds and hearts. We will not watch movies that contain filthy language and sexual explicit images or anything that implies it. We will not watch television shows that promote wickedness and that laughs at things that are an abomination to God. We will not look at sexual images on our computers. We will not flirt with the opposite gender if we are married. We will be pure to our spouse. We will reserve sexual relations for marriage. We will not live with our boyfriend or girlfriend. We will not divorce. We will not have an affair. We will be pure in action and pure in heart. May the words of the old hymn fill our prayers: “Purer in heart, O God, help me to be.”