May the Just One set me straight, may the Kind One correct me.
Don't let sin anoint my head. (Psalm 141:5, MSG)
Temptation. Conviction. Ugh. I'd rather pretend that we don't sin, that we never need correction. I don't like receiving it, and I'm not very good at giving. I'm a good teacher of children--if you discount poor discipline.
But the truth is, of course, that we all sin. As John says in his epistle, If we say we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:10, NIV)
Since I do sin and I need correction, I'll take David's prayer as my own.
When I sin--I need both the God of justice and of mercy. The God of Justice will show me how far I have strayed from the 100% holiness. He will set me on a straight path when I have made it crooked. Without the Just One to set me straight, I won't know what the right path is. I won't know what holiness looks like. I will wander aimlessly, left only to platitudes and to my sin-weakened conscience.
But I also need the God of kindness and mercy. If I only could appeal to the God of justice, I would run the other way. I'd hope I could escape, because I know He would punish to the full extent of the law. By this point in my life, I'd be sitting on death row.
When the Kind one corrects me, I know He loves me. He understands my weakness. He became like me, to restore me to wholeness. I don't have to fear His correction. He will correct me, but fairly, in a way not meant to punish but rather to rehabilitate me.
Above all, I want to ask God to keep sin from anointing me. I don't want its ugly black oil smearing my soul,distorting the image of God in me.
Today's favorite verse: I know that you, God, are on the side of victims, that you care for the rights of the poor. And I know that the righteous personally thank you, that good people are secure in your presence. (Psalm 140:12-13)