In this world today people may face many kinds of hardships in their life’s journey. They encounter such situations mainly because their hearts are to be blamed. On the other hand, a blameless man doesn’t pursue things in vain. He pursues holiness and keeps his heart in the truth, and faithfully fulfills his duties. Hence, a blameless person can gain wisdom from above and enjoy prosperity in all things.
- The spiritual meaning of ‘Blamelessness’
Man looks at the outward appearance in judgment, but God looks at the heart of man. Thus, He clearly knows who is of goodness or evilness. In the sight of such God, Job was blameless (Job 1:1).
Dictionaries define ‘blameless’ as ‘free of guilt; not subject to blame’ or ‘free of blame or guilt; innocent’. People who are blameless are generally considered to be gentle and meek, and they act and speak with generous virtue. Even if they are faced with a situation that is harmful to themselves, they won’t pay evil for evil and accept everything in goodness. Therefore, the spiritual meaning of ‘blamelessness’ is ‘to reveal gentleness in deeds’.
Job enjoyed great blessings in finance, fame, children, and health such that he was recognized as the greatest of all the men of the east. One day, however, due to disasters he lost all his possessions and he also lost his children overnight. But Job didn’t blame God but instead he arose, tore his robes, shaved his head, and fell to the ground and worshiped God (Job 1:20).
Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God. He still held fast to his integrity. That is why God acknowledged Job and said, “For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil” (Job 2:3). But Job started to curse the day of his birth when he got sore boils and had great pain. In time he argued with his friends. But why then had God said Job was ‘blameless’ though he still had evil?
It is because Job lived in the time of the Old Testament before the Holy Spirit did not yet come into the hearts of people. It means that as long as one didn’t act out something that was against the Law he wasn’t deemed a sinner. Job didn’t commit sins in action and did many good deeds such as helping orphans and widows. That is why God acknowledged him as blameless. However, God wanted him to cast away every form of evil and even the sinful natures from his heart. God did not want him to just stay at the level of not ‘doing sins in action’. In reality, only when we circumcise our hearts and cast off every form of evil including evil in our nature can we finally become blameless in a spiritual sense.
- In order to become blameless
Matthew 12:19-20 shows how blameless Jesus was. It says, “He will not quarrel, nor cry out; nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A battered reed He will not break off, and a smoldering wick He will not put out, until He leads justice to victory.” Then, what should we do to become a blameless man like Jesus?
Firstly, we should not break off a battered reed
When one grows a tree or a plant, he cuts off withered leaves or branches. Likewise, people turn their backs on those who are not beneficial to them or who do them harm. They may ‘break them off’ or break off from them. However, Jesus didn’t ‘break off’ any soul even though he was like a battered reed, but instead He tried to save him.
Then, what kind of person does ‘a battered reed’ refer to? It refers to a person who is filled with sins and evil and worldly things. For example, it includes the people who had evil intent toward Jesus though they witnessed Him practicing goodness. Jesus didn’t forsake even such people. He taught them the truth, and patiently bore with them. Nor did He abandon the sick and the poor but loved them and tried to save them until the end. A blameless man has mercy on even those who are full of evil and tries to save them.
Secondly, we should not put out a smoldering wick
A smoldering wick is likened to a person whose heart is stained with so much evil that the light of their spirit is dying out. Even though one had no possibility to be revived in spirit and was helpless in every affair, Jesus didn’t give such people up and tried His best to save them until the end.
Jesus foreknew that Judas Iscariot would betray Him, but He was with him and patiently waited for him to change. He also interceded for the forgiveness of those who were crucifying and mocking Him, and cried out in prayer, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” He didn’t give up on those people no matter how evil they were.
We should have patience to lead souls with love until the end in a same way that Jesus did. The heart of not putting out a smoldering wick is similar to the fruit of patience among nine fruits of the Holy Spirit. This is because one with the fruit of patience sees others with spiritual love and hope and guides them with faith and patience until the end.
People commonly abandon those who do harm to them or cause them shame, in a same way that they put out a smoldering wick, even though they are their parents or their own children. But one who has a blameless heart and is deemed perfect in the sight of God never gives up on them and prays for them until the end from the heart.
Thirdly, we should not quarrel, nor cry out.
Jesus didn’t quarrel nor cry out even when He was faced with things that could not be endured at all. Evil persons plotted evil schemes against Him in many affairs and tried to put Him to death because of their jealousy. He didn’t stand against them at all, but taught them in wisdom of goodness in those situations and sometimes avoided in wisdom. He kept silent when questioned to fulfill the providence of salvation.
When we meet with something contrary to our thoughts or our desires, if our faith is small, we easily become hot-tempered and quarrelsome. If we quarrel, we should blame ourselves for it. It happens because we have a small heart-vessel and we have self-righteousness and self-framework that make it impossible to embrace others. So, we should get rid of all evils from our hearts quickly.
Jesus didn’t boast off and His behavior was truly holy and pure. Jesus could have flaunted Himself when He manifested amazing works that men couldn’t do. But He never desired to gain favor from people for His powerful ministry. He didn’t want to reveal Himself at all, but just acted humbly without boasting off and only gave glory to God.
We should not desire to gain recognition from others for our contributions and should not flaunt ourselves. Our actions must be needed to only glorify God. Then God, who knows everything, will let all our good works to be revealed.
- Blessings given to a man of blamelessness
Since Abraham was blameless and his deeds were perfect, he received God’s love. He brought harm to no one and never paid evil for evil. He solved every kind of problem in goodness and patiently endured with everyone. That is why God was pleased with him and blessed him.
How did Abraham deal with the matter when his possessions and those of Lot, his nephew, had become so great that they could no longer remain together, and there was strife between their herdsmen? Though Abraham was Lot’s uncle, he gave away the better things to his nephew. Moreover, he didn’t harbor any kind of discomfort or hard feelings though Lot chose the better land seeking his own benefit. Abraham even saved Lot at risk of his own life when Lot was taken captive.
In this way, Abraham neither quarreled, nor cried out, or sought his benefit. He acted without blemish. As a result he suffered no loss, but received only tremendous blessings. In the end, Abraham was recognized by God as the ‘father of faith’ and the ‘friend of God.’
If we have a blameless heart, we will neither break off a battered reed, nor put out a smoldering wick, nor quarrel, nor cry out, and then we can embrace many people and lead them to the way of salvation. Only then can we enjoy a prosperous life in which everything goes well with us like Abraham and be recognized as great in Heaven.