Like a car with bad alignment, we are prone to drift off course when we’re not focused on steering our faith. Often, we use intellectual pursuits to disguise our drifting. It’s easier to argue an opinion than to respond faithfully. It’s stimulating to have a theoretical conversation about a complex issue because there is no hard-and-fast application. When we drift, we might even succeed in convincing ourselves that we’re being faithful.
New Christians often have a zealous faith and a desire to learn that make seasoned Christians take a second look at their own faith. In Psalm 101, the psalmist expresses this type of zeal for God. While his specific actions can seem strange to our modern ears, his desire to pursue God with his entire being is one we ourselves should adopt. He follows his repeated “I will” statements with promises to sing of God’s steadfast love and justice, ponder the way that is blameless, and walk with integrity of heart. He knows the danger of haughty eyes and arrogance of heart, and he determines to avoid people with these traits. Instead, he aspires to seek out faithful people who can minister to him (Psa 101:6).
Complex faith issues don’t always have hard-and-fast answers. They require intelligent conversations and careful consideration. But most of all, they require humility and a committed zeal to follow God—whatever the outcome.
God reminds Solomon of all the great things he passed up in this moment, and how doing so showed his true character. As a result, God says that he will also bless Solomon with “wealth, possessions, and honor” (2 Chr 1:11-12). Solomon’s humility demonstrates what it looks like to have a godly identity that’s focused on others rather than ourselves.
We need to be humble and honest about our weaknesses. If we know we need help, we need to be like the psalmist and seek out mentors who can minister to us. And if someone calls us out as arrogant and haughty, we need to address where we’ve drifted. Take a look at your own heart. Where are you drifting?