Daily Meditation: "Wholeness"
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
“If you try my heart, if you visit me by night, if you test me, you will find no wickedness in me; my mouth does not transgress.” - Psalm 17:3
I don’t know about you, but when I read this verse from Psalm’s 17th chapter I kind of go, “Yeah….right.” Maybe the psalmist was just having a good day that day.
Look, the vast majority of us are what we’d all call (I think) “good people.” We don’t act out of malice, we don’t intentionally harm people, we don’t commit crimes, etc. However, not one of us is perfect. We judge others, we have our own prejudices and faults, we don’t always act as kindly or as compassionately as we might. So, when the psalmist says to God, “Try me...you’ll find no wickedness, no transgression,” I kind of think, “Really?”
In Matthew 5:48 Jesus says, “Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” That’s another one where I read it and sit thinking, “He can’t possibly mean what I’m reading.” None of us is perfect, let alone perfect in the same way we might think of God as being perfect. What is our scripture trying to convey to us in passages like these when it comes to our moral and sacred aptitude? The bar seems to be raised so high that we can’t possibly reach it.
Well, maybe a good place to start is the word used in Matthew for “perfect.” Most English Bibles have translated that word from the Greek meaning “complete, finished, brought to its end.” Or, another way of thinking about it, “Whole.” In what ways are we unfinished, are we works in progress? Whatever those are, they keep us from being complete. Those are things we need to work on, and we all have ‘em; myself included. Becoming whole is a daily practice, and probably a life-long endeavor.
So when, like the psalmist, we pray to God and say, “Try me” maybe on that day we did indeed have a day. The psalmist was on the road to wholeness. The following night, maybe the psalmist asked for forgiveness because the next day they didn’t do as well. Perhaps Psalm 17:3 is just a brief snapshot along the way and we caught them on a good day. Yet, the journey to being Whole is just that: a collection of sacred snapshots that ultimately, collectively, make us who we are. When pieces fall into place, we have days like the psalm. Other days, well….there’s lots of scripture about those kinds of days, too.
Just remember it’s a Journey, and the Bible provides us with insights into all parts of that Journey. I hope today is a good one on yours.
Eternal God, be with us always on all parts of our Journey as we seek pathways towards being Whole.