Verse: Psalm 120:1-2
I call on the Lord in my distress,
and he answers me.
Save me, Lord,
from lying lips
and from deceitful tongues.
I was hanging out with some friends last night at a Bible study and we were talking about the fact that we need discernment as followers of Jesus. We were talking about how it can be hard to trust authority figures because, especially lately, we've seen many spiritual authority figures fail. So who can you trust? It would be nice to say we can trust everyone who says they are a Christian, but unfortunately we need more discernment than that.
David prays here that God would save him from lying lips and deceitful tongues. The reality is that Satan is not going to be super obvious with his lies. He is a master deceiver. Jesus told us that when Satan lies he is speaking his native language. That he is the "father of lies" (John 8:44). We are also told that Satan "masquerades as an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14) and are warned by Jesus that some people will be like "wolves in sheep's clothing" (Matthew 7:15).
All of this points to the frustrating and sad reality that we can't trust everybody who just says they are a Christian. We have to use discernment. We need to pray that God will protect us from deceit. We need to pray for wisdom and discernment. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to "lead us into all truth" (John 16:13). We need to seek accountability from people we trust.
The flip side, however, is also not true: that we should trust nobody. Relationships are all about risk. Anytime we trust someone we are taking a calculated risk that they could break that trust. If because of past hurt and disappointment we choose to never trust, we will end up sad and alone. In the same way if we choose to never trust spiritual authority again, never allow ourselves to be pastored, mentored, and taught by trustworthy, Christ-like people, we will stifle our personal growth and miss out on so much of what God has for us.
Can we guarantee those people won't fail us? Of course not! But it is worth the risk.
If today you are struggling with having discernment about who to trust, ask the the Lord for help. Pray this prayer with David that he would save you from deceitful people. Pray that he would provide you with people who are genuine followers of Jesus who, although not perfect, live lives of integrity, repentance, humility, and character.