Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you. Psalm 86:11(NLT)
Third base is affectionately known as the hot corner. When a right-handed hitter hits a screamer at the third baseman there isn’t much time to think; you simply react. You react according to the coaching you’ve received and the training you’ve done. I know this from some painful and embarrassing experience! The embarrassing experience came in a high school game against our arch rival. Their third baseman launched a rocket off his bat that kissed the ground as it skipped right between my feet and into the outfield! I was frozen in time; hardly saw it! The painful experience was years later in a church softball game. One of our board members hit a preacher-seeking missile towards third base. Unlike the one in high school, this one found its target, my right ankle. The blood clot that ensued meant three days in the hospital. Never did find out why that board member didn’t like me!
Much like the action/reaction nature of sports are the moral and ethical dilemmas of this life which come at you broadside, blind-side and all-sides. David prayed for God to teach him God’s ways so he could make decisions that were according to God’s truth. He wanted a clean heart, pure enough so he would recognize the blackness of sin when confronted with a choice between righteousness and evil.
That’s a good prayer, but how does that play out in real time?
· In school – you have a teacher who is loose on security, so you’re tempted to cheat on that chemistry test because you didn’t study.
· At work – you underestimated the cost of that project, but you could make up the shortfall by getting sub-standard materials that would be buried; nobody would know.
· Shopping – the clerk didn’t realize she had put a $100 bill in with the $1’s and she gave it to you by mistake with your change.
There are something like twenty-six gazillion other possibilities that can swamp you in a wave of unethical, immoral, and unlawful temptations. And the worst are those which come silently and quickly, with little time to think.
That’s why you pray David’s prayer early for God to teach your heart His ways, so when the reaction time calls for an immediate decision, it will be the ways of God’s truth that win the day.
A pure heart stays pure when you let God’s ways handle the hot ones that come from broadside, blind-side, and all sides.