May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord, the LORD Almighty; may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me, O God of Israel.
Does a believer have a responsibility to live for the Lord for the sake of other Christians? Could my actions disgrace those who hope in the Lord? Based upon Psalm 69, David believed that other believers were affected by his behavior. Somewhere in our motivation to live for the Lord there should be the thought that we have a responsibility to our fellow believers.
Think of the negative impact of a Pastor who runs away with his secretary has upon his church and his community. That is a severe example of the impact of a believer’s actions but the principle is the same. Our actions have a direct impact on other believers. Our actions can encourage a weaker believer to turn away from the Lord and discourage a stronger believer in his walk with the Lord. Don’t be confused, God will accomplish His will even if we live unholy lives. I think that is why, right in the middle of the verse from Psalm 69, David identifies the Lord as the LORD Almighty. He is still the Lord and the one we look to especially when others around us aren’t doing the right thing.
The Lord has called us all, as His children, to be holy. We should obey Him because He has told us to, but if we choose not to, we impact other believers. As believers we are a community and share a mutual responsibility to live in holiness, not only in obedience to the Lord but to avoid the “disgracing” and “shaming” of other believers. We don’t live in a vacuum. Our actions affect other believers. Live a life of holiness; yes, because you love the Lord, but also because you care about other believers.