I will be careful to lead a blameless life. (Ps. 101:2)

IT’S REASSURING, REALLY, when you’re on an operating table. Prior to any surgery, a sterilization process has been completed. The table and floor—the whole room—has been cleansed. Every tool has been through a machine. The doctors have scrubbed with special soap and covered their clothes, hair, and mouth. And you are cleaned and in a paper gown. All to be sure nothing impure is present. Because that would interfere with effective healing.

David sang of cleansing his life. From his heart to his friendships to his home life, he longed for everything to be pure. Even idle conversation was considered. Like a hospital checklist that ensures cleanliness, item by item was addressed. In some ways, to modern ears, it sounds harsh. But David often needed God’s healing presence, as at times sin sliced through his life. And he knew his heart needed to be pure for the healing process.

Sometimes, it’s easy to ignore seemingly “little” sins. But like a dangerous bacteria in surgery, they can destroy. Healing faith is pure. This isn’t legalism; perfection isn’t required. God died for us while we were sinners. He understands we struggle. But as we strive for a life that pleases God in everything, we become clean. Then when our divine Physician comes we are properly prepared and can really begin healing the damage caused by sin.

On your bottle of household cleaner or bleach, write Psalm 101:2.

Diane Gardner lives in the San Francisco Bay area, where she enjoys theater, street fairs, and watching the sun set with her husband.