You, God, know my folly;Psalm 69:5-6 NIV
my guilt is not hidden from you.
Lord, the LORD Almighty,
may those who hope in you
not be disgraced because of me;
God of Israel,
may those who seek you
not be put to shame because of me.
I am not perfect, falling short of God’s standard every day and in many ways. And I think David’s exclamation here is often a good description of my life, “God, you know my folly.” My sin is an ever-present reality that is not hidden from God.
Often times our sin directly impacts other people. We might hurt another person by what we say or do. But David brings out an aspect of our sin that I suspect few of us stop to consider. His prayer here is that no one would be disgraced or put to shame because of him. Fairly, or unfairly, the world around us tends to lump all Christians together. If one falls short and is a bad witness, it paints all believers in a bad light.
Periodically, there will be news reports of some high-profile believer who is caught in adultery, financial mismanagement of church funds, or some other transgression. Their sin causes harm to themselves and to those near them, including the church they lead. But it also brings shame to all believers who end up linked with them because they are Christians.
Don’t Let Your Actions Bring Shame to Others
But it is not just the high-profile people that this applies to. If you are known as a Christian, and hopefully you are, other Christians are going to be judged by what you do. And that is especially true if what you do is negative.
Lord, I pray that my actions do not bring reproach and shame to the name of Christ, and to others who are called by that name. Help me to be conscious of the impact of my life on others around me. Even those I may never know or come into contact with.