“Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord; I shall not slip. Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart. For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, and I have walked in Your truth.” Psalm 26:1-3
How do you know if someone loves you? Is it because of what they say or is it because of what they do?
Like most important questions there’s no precise or simple answer to the preceding questions but I think that most of us would agree that, while words are an important part of the communication of love within a relationship, words alone are not sufficient to truly demonstrate love. Whatever graces there may be existing in the heart and mind of a person must take the form of words and actions if they’re to be fully realize.
For example, faith must be demonstrated by patiently trusting during the time of waiting. Trust must find its demonstration by investing confidence in someone in advance of their fulfilling our expectations. Patience is demonstrated by choosing to be at peace during periods of vexation and stress. Love is demonstrated by sacrificial respect and nurturing care for those God has placed us in connection with. I could go on.
In Psalm 26 David calls upon God to vindicate him and cites several of his virtues as evidence for consideration. Some would site this as evidence for a legalistic method for salvation in the Old Testament, sometimes called the old covenant. But note that David also cites his trust in the Lord as being part of the reason for his vindication. It’s this trust that is his security. His trust in God will keep him from slipping.
A careful study of the New Testament writers will find them in agreement. It’s faith in Christ and his sacrifice for us that gives us forgiveness, redemption, and a connection with God and these blessings result in a change in our insides that is demonstrated by a change in our outsides.
The apostles James, in his epistle, goes so far as to say that his faith is demonstrated by his works. You can’t have one without the other.
When David calls for God to examine him and see the evidence in his life he’s, in fact, calling for God to come and look at His own handiwork. For it’s God who has done the work and it’s He who will be the one to bring it to completion.