In my late twenties I became hungry for truth. Not just the world’s idea of truth, but God’s. I dug deep into Scriptures and soaked up verses that taught me about God’s loving character, Jesus’ sacrifice, and my identity in Christ. I absorbed so much biblical truth that my eyes were opened to a whole new way of viewing myself and the world I live in.
Although I was gaining understanding in many areas, there was one particular subject that seemed to perplex me every time I came across it—the subject of living blamelessly.
Reading verses like Deuteronomy 18:13, “You must be blameless before the Lord your God” would actually cause me to feel a tinge of distress. I knew I was forgiven. I knew I was saved. But blameless? I didn’t get it. I couldn’t grasp the concept of how I could live blamelessly before God, particularly this side of Heaven, as Scriptures seemed to say.
An Amazing Truth
I skirted around the subject of living blamelessly for years until finally I worked up the nerve to ask God about it and once I did, I discovered an amazing truth. I had been assuming all along that being blameless meant being sinless, but I was wrong.
The word sinless means to be completely free from all sin and wrongdoing. The Bible teaches there is only One who is sinless and his name is Jesus. “In him there is no sin” (1 John 3:5).
The word blameless however, means something different. Based on the Hebrew word tamim, to be blameless is to be complete and thoroughly made.
Evangelist David Wilkerson explained the application of blameless this way: “In regards to our relationship with God we are to be wholeheartedly resolute and entirely committed [complete and thoroughly made] to walking with Him in this world.”
In other words, to live without sin is an impossible standard for me, but to align myself with God’s truth and walk wholeheartedly day after day in an entirely complete, committed relationship with him? I could learn to do that.
Asking God for clarity on the matter of living blamelessly was the best thing I could have ever done. Learning how to apply it was the next.
Be Honest. A blameless Christian is willing to be honest with God, self, and others. Reading through the Gospels we see that Jesus didn’t always please people, but he certainly was honest with them. As a believer this may seem obvious, but we know from Jeremiah 17:9 that “the heart is deceitful above all things.”
My deceitful heart showed up when I moved to a new town and began to seek God’s direction in finding a new church home. Each week I visited different churches assuming God would send a big sign any day. After six months of church visits with no sign from God, I was fed up and had a ranting session with him. I rambled on and on, basically letting God know that I didn’t appreciate the situation. In the midst of my raging fit, a still small voice stopped me in my tracks, “Do you trust me?”
No! My response came out quick and automatic, and it shocked me.
I couldn’t believe I said that out loud. I thought I had been trusting God all along but apparently, I wasn’t. When I was finally honest with God and myself, confessing my distrust, God answered the prayer swiftly, showing me that honesty is a much needed step in living blamelessly before him.
Pursue Integrity. Integrity is a close second to honesty. It’s taking that quality of being honest and choosing to live with strong moral principles.
Jesus demonstrated his pursuit of integrity in Matthew 22 when the Pharisees asked him if it was “lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not” (v. 17, English Standard Version). It was a loaded question to test his integrity and trap him. But in that moment Jesus made a choice to stay true to what was moral, correct, and right by his response, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” (v. 21, NIV).
Jesus chose to live his earthly life with integrity and so can we.
I’ve witnessed this integrity in my husband who has spent almost two decades working in law enforcement in one of the most dangerous and depressing cities in Northern California. Given the environment he is in and considering the evil he sees on a regular basis, no one would blame him if he didn’t always hold himself to a high moral standard.
But my husband is a man of faith and desires wholeheartedly to walk with God. So when he faces evil traps and temptations day after day, he chooses to pursue integrity. Living blamelessly before God involves choosing daily to live a moral and upright life.
Be Intentional. Jesus was intentional about the way he lived his life on earth. He demonstrated this as a child when he asked his parents why they were searching for him since he needed to be about his Father’s business (see Luke 2:49). Jesus lived intentionally and we can too.
I’m reminded every day of the need to be intentional when I go to my day job as a lunch lady to nearly 80 students at a military middle school. Most days I’m able to display joy, patience, love, and peace to the students I interact with. But there are days when, despite their little angelic faces, the students are rude, ungrateful, demanding, negative, or as I like to say, a hot mess.
On those days I have to be especially intentional about my faith walk. I pull out the note I keep in my apron that says, “I’m here to serve God.” I intentionally grab the devotional book on my desk and read Galatians 6:9, a verse that reminds me not to grow weary while doing good.
Like Jesus, we have to intentionally be about our heavenly Father’s business if we want to live wholeheartedly and blamelessly before God.
Remain Teachable. Probably the most important step in our blameless faith walk with God is to remain teachable. Jesus, Son of God, King of Kings, Lord and Savior, and knower of all things displayed a teachable spirit. “And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both hearing them, and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46, American Standard Version).
If Jesus needed to listen, learn, ask questions, and remain teachable while living his sinless, earthly life, how much more should we maintain a teachable spirit in order to learn, grow, and walk out our faith in him every day?
You and I can live blamelessly before the Lord our God. It begins by having a teachable spirit that is willing to commit to a wholehearted walk with God one day at a time in honesty, integrity, and intentionality.
Monica Cane (www.monicacane.com) is a freelance writer from Northern California with numerous published articles appearing in faith-based magazines nationwide. She is the author of Scrambled Hormones: 60-Days of Encouragement for Moms Raising Teenage Daughters, The Lost Coin, A Breath of Inspiration, and A Journey to Healing: Life After SIDS.