Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. Examine me, O Lord, and try me; test my mind and my heart. For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, and I have walked in Your truth.
— PSALM 26:1–3 —
Julio Pacheco: Evangelical Ministries of the Americas | Honduras
A clear conscience—one that doesn’t accuse of sin—brings peace. In Psalm 26, the psalmist asks God to vindicate him, and he asks because his conscience is at peace. Using three verbs—examine me, try me, and test me—the psalmist expresses that a clear conscience is not a superficial self-examination or a presumptuous declaration of innocence. Rather, it is the result of submission to a thorough analysis in the light of God’s word. As we grow in God’s grace, regularly confessing sin and returning to the straight paths of righteousness, we will learn to stand firm, with clear consciences and hearts at ease. Paul likewise remarked that it wasn’t his own judgment or the judgment of a human court but the Lord’s judgment that mattered (1 Cor. 4:3–4). It is critical for every believer to seek the examination and evaluation of God. We should echo the psalmist’s desire to be thoroughly tried and refined, so that in the end we would be purified. We need daily confrontation from the word of God to restore our soul, make us wise, rejoice our heart, and enlighten our eyes. If there is sin in your life that you cling to, don’t deny it and harden your conscience. Repent of it and trust in God’s marvelous forgiveness, having been redeemed by the blood of Christ. If we seek to be refined daily, we will increasingly put off sin and walk in our integrity. As we grow in God’s grace, regularly confessing sin and returning to the straight paths of righteousness, we will learn to stand firm, with clear consciences and hearts at ease. And we will, like the psalmist, be free to sing praises in God’s house with His congregation.