having it both ways


 Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Psalm 85:10.

I’ve always been struck by this observation, tucked away in a Psalm by the sons of Korah. It is arresting, because it brings together the thing we most want with the thing we most lack, either way you look at it.

Some days, not very often, we want righteousness. We want justice to be done.  We want everything to be set right. This puts us in conflict with the way things are. Peace is elusive if we want people and situations to line up a with standard of holiness.

More often we want peace, at any cost. Don’t draw attention to that which is out of order, don’t insist on anything. Especially, don’t insist that some things are right; that means some things are wrong. Don’t be so judgmental.

But here righteousness and peace come together. They have kissed each other. Is this a polite kiss? Or a passionate one?

I’m going to go with passionate.

The context is a God who has put away his indignation and shown his steadfast love. And the result? The next verse says: “Faithfulness spring up from the ground and righteousness looks down from the sky.” This leads to the very passion of Christ.

This calls us to the passionate pursuit of righteousness and peace. It speaks directly to the lie that we can not really hate the sin but love the sinner. We can actually, actively, aggressively, and ardently.

God does it all the time.

(247 words)

5 thoughts on “having it both ways”

  1. Wally, would you allow me to republish this on HealthyLeaders.com?

    I would also like to republish an excerpt of The Santa Papers the week of Christmas. We would set up an author page with your photo and a bio, of course, with a link where to purchase the book from Amazon. Please???
    Thank you!
    Gina Burgess 🙂

  2. Thank you for these words on Psalm 85! In panel discussion in core class today my students expressed concern over “hating sin but loving the sinner.” In our own strength it seems impossible. But how refreshing to know that ‘we can actually.’

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