A Psalm of David. Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide. Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth. I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked. I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD: That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works. LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth. Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men: In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes. But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me. My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD.
C.S. Lewis, in his “Reflections on the Psalms,” writes of connivance pointing to Psalm 26:4 , “the good man is not only free from ‘vanity’ (falsehood) but has not even ‘dwelled with,’ been on intimate terms with, those who are ‘vain.’ ”
One of the things I enjoy about Mr. Lewis’s writings on connivance is that he often states, “. . .I do not know the answer.” He explores the life we are to live based upon the the Word of G-d through the Bible. In one place he writes, “How ought we to behave in the presence of very bad people?” Mr. Lewis then writes about how “Christ [spoke] to the Samaritan woman at the well, [how] Christ [dealt] with the woman taken in adultery, [how] Christ dined with publicans, [this] is our example.” Yet Mr. Lewis also writes, “But I am inclined to think a Christian would be wise to avoid, where he decently can, any meeting with people who are bullies, lascivious, cruel, dishonest, spiteful and so forth. Not because we are ‘too good’ for them. In a sense because we are not good enough. We are not good enough to cope with all the temptations, nor clever enough to cope with all the problems, which an evening spent in such society produces. The temptation is to condone, to connive at: by our words, looks and laughter, to ‘consent.’ ”
When we are around those who do not conduct their lives in accordance with Biblical principles, do not look to the Lord our G-d as their Lord, their Savior, we may inadvertently condone their practices. Thus, as Mr. Lewis states, “By implication we are denying our Master; behaving as if we ‘no not the Man.’ ”
We cannot avoid all contact with non-believers, though. But we don’t need to join in, giving the appearance of approval. Neither, as Mr. Lewis points out, do we continually need to be contentious and interrupt with ‘I don’t agree.’ Silence is our refuge, Mr. Lewis states. But at some point, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, there is a time to disagree, to point out the truth. Mr. Lewis puts it this way: “There comes of course a degree of evil against which a protest will have to be made, however little chance it has of success. There are cheery agreements in cynicism or brutality which one must contract out of unambiguously. If it can’t be done without seeming priggish, then priggish we must seem.”
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .