If you watch horse racing you may have observed that some of the horses wear blinkers or blinders. These leather screens are attached to the horse's bridle to prevent the animal from seeing sideways or behind. The idea is to keep a horse that is easily distracted from seeing what is going on around him and to prevent him from losing his primary focus—full steam straight ahead to the finish line.
"I will walk in my house with a blameless heart," writes David in Psalm 101 (NIV). We nod our heads knowingly; David was no saint at home. Remember Bathsheba? Then again, if I point a finger at someone else, there are always several pointing right back at me. What I do I do in the privacy of my own home that would disgrace me were it revealed in public, and bring shame on the name of the Lord?
Reading the psalm got me thinking about what I fill my idle spaces with when I am at home. David writes: "I will set before my eyes no vile thing" (verse 3). What do I read? What do I watch on television? What kinds of DVDs do I entertain myself with? What sites do I visit on the Internet?
The songwriter then determines not to "hang" with anyone in his home who is faithless, perverse, a slanderer, proud, deceitful, or a liar. He wants to keep company with those who are faithful and to be mentored by those who are what he wants to become—blameless. Clearly we can't disassociate ourselves from everyone who doesn't conform to Biblical standards. How would we witness to them or be of influence in their lives if we had nothing to do with those who most need to discover new life through faith in Christ Jesus? I think the psalmist is talking about those who are his closest friends. Who is within my intimate circle of relationships? They should be those who pull me up spiritually, not those who tempt me toward that downward spiral away from the Lord.
Just as blinders keep horses focused so that they can win the race, we need to consciously choose to keep our private spaces as free from evil as possible, and "hang" with those who build us up spiritually so that we can keep focused on being, in private and in public, the witnesses to truth to which God has called us.