King David, in Psalm 119:80, offers this rich prayer: May my heart be blameless in your statutes, that I may not be put to shame! Indeed, this prayer ought to be on the lips of every follower of Jesus Christ.
I ask myself what might be the benefits of a blameless life. It appears that a lack of shame would be one clear benefit; at least, that is what the final line of the couplet suggests. Some Spirit-shaped discernment brings four others to mind.
First, with a blameless life comes margin by which my soul rests at the feet of Jesus. A soul cluttered with shame, fear, worry, sin, and so forth, is a soul lacking the margin to simply rest. To bear the burdens just mentioned is to be weighed down, to be distracted, to be busy with worldly and fleshly concerns. Yet when I celebrate the blamelessness that comes my way because of the perfect obedience and redemptive work of Jesus, when I celebrate the lack of condemnation (see Romans 8:1) that is a result of God’s grace, then my soul can just rest before the Lord. The corridors of my soul are clean and clear. I have room for my soul to breathe. I have margin by which to really rest, which is very different from the drive to manage my image or my shame or my sin or my duty. Surrender to Christ Jesus allows me to have inner-rest. A blameless life brings margin in which my soul might thrive.
Secondly, with a blameless life comes what I call maneuverability, or the freedom to thrive, to be agile, or to be readily available to my Sovereign Lord. Not being weighed down with blame puts me in the position of being completely at my Lord’s disposal. This is liberating! This allows me to thrive. It is the dynamic that marked Isaiah the prophet, who, after being made clean by the Lord, offered these life-altering words to God, “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).
Thirdly, with a blameless life comes mercifulness. Because I receive so much mercy from our God, and because I have the margin to embrace it and the agility to steward it, I can give it away generously. Those weighed down by sin and shame struggle to be merciful or tender to those around them. We can only give what we have to give, and if we are unwilling to have God’s tender love wash away our condemnation, then we cannot give mercy to others. A real sign as to whether I have a heart loaded down with unseemly things is whether I am giving grace and mercy to those around me. If I hedge there then perhaps there are things I need to lay before the Lord so that His blamelessness is mine. First John 1:9 is a terrific place to begin the journey of laying my sinful burdens before the Lord.
Lastly, with a blameless life comes mission-focus, or the ability to really live with purpose for the glory of our God. Life is, after all, completely about the Lord and His purposes. If I am blameless in my life then I have the margin, the agility, and the loyal love (mercy) to fuel my focus on God’s supreme purposes—His mission. This kind of living is real living, and the wonderful outcome of a existence shaped by the grace of God put on full display at the cross and the empty tomb.
Margin. Maneuverability. Mercifulness. Mission. These four gifts are the fruit of a blameless life. Are they yours?