Scripture: Psalm 19 (NIV)
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Anakin Skywalker didn’t set out to become the embodiment of evil. He didn’t wake up one day and decide that, you know, that Sith way of life just seems to be what I should be doing. While it seems like Emperor Palpatine might have been more likely to have made an active choice, Anakin took wrong step after wrong step until suddenly he was miles away from where he should have been. His over-attachment to first his mother and then to Padme led him to a dark place, but his initial thoughts–to protect the ones he loved–had basis in good.
“Who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults.” We often know what we are doing wrong, what sin is keeping us from a more right relationship with the Lord. However, that’s not always the case. We may feel we are doing the right thing, but have started down a path that would be clearly wrong if we knew where it was going to end up. Our political parties and our denominations have, at times, been this way. You argue against this thing, push against that idea, which makes it easier to take the next step, another step away from the Will of God.
Examining our motivations and our desires is as vital as examining our actions. Are we doing the right thing for the wrong reason? Is doing this action going to lead to something a little more questionable, then a little more questionable, and so on? Rarely do people have a defining moment when they decided to go wrong, but an error of a thousand miles can start with a simple inch. We aren’t likely to wind up wearing a dark suit of armor, but we can get to an untenable place without even realizing it.
Keep watch over yourself in all aspects. Make sure you stay firmly on the narrow road and continue to question yourself to make sure of it. An unexamined life is likely to be a life that has less of God in it than we would like!