I have done what is righteous and just; do not leave me to my oppressors. Ensure your servant’s well-being; do not let the arrogant oppress me. My eyes fail, looking for your salvation, looking for your righteous promise. Deal with your servant according to your love and teach me your decrees. I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes. It is time for you to act, LORD; your law is being broken. Because I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold, and because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path.
“Discernment,” said C. H. Spurgeon, “is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; rather it is telling the difference between right and almost right.” Right and wrong are relatively easy to distinguish, but the difference between right and almost right needs special instruction from God’s Spirit.
That’s what the psalmist is praying for in today’s psalm. He can see the bold colors of black and white; he needs help in the gray areas. He desires to understand the hard-to-see line that separates him from obedience and dangerous sin.
It only takes one bad lapse in judgment to ruin a reputation. An errant tweet, a foolish Facebook post, a regrettable Instagram picture, or a thoughtless text can bring down in a moment what has taken years to build. The psalmist’s prayer is one for every serious believer: “I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.”
Father, please give me discernment every moment of every day. Guard my responses whether they come from my mouth or are posted on my phone. Give me discernment so that I can follow Your Word in the areas that are right and almost right. In Jesus’ name. Amen.