A World Without Uniforms (v. 1):
Wouldn’t it be nice if the good guys really wore white hats and the bad guys really wore black hats? It would make the application of the Psalm 1 (and many other portions of Scripture) so much easier. The problem is that the line between good and evil goes straight down the middle of the human heart (credit to Alexander Solzhenitsyn). So as we seek to apply Psalm 1, we cannot take a strictly us-versus-them approach. As Pogo said, “We have seen the enemy and he is us.” As you seek to apply this psalm consider:
- What is your counsel of the wicked; both what you are prone to believe and what you dispense as “common sense”?
- What is your way of sinners? In your journey with Christ, which detours from the straight and narrow have trouble growing grass from frequent trodding?
- Where is your seat of mockers? What do you find delight or humor in that is not in keeping with the character and delight of God?
The goal of these questions is not guilt but delight. Until we take the time to examine our heart we will miss out on what God declares “blessed.” We will be settling for second best. As C.S. Lewis rightly declared, “We are far too easily pleased.”
Fads of Chaff
Don’t we all have a love/hate relationship with old pictures? The nostalgia is wonderful. The fashion is dreadful. But we cling to the axiom, “All fashion eventually comes back in style!” Awkwardly, this is the message of Psalm 1.
The wicked are like chaff. They are blown away quickly. Yet the mere fact that the Bible so frequently addresses the same errors of folly and rebellion indicates that they (too) quickly come back in vogue.
This is true of cultures, generations, and individuals. We are foolish. Hence, we need a wisdom psalm like this one. Our foolishness brings large scale life disruption (God’s judgment—whether it be natural consequence or divine retribution). Yet we disgustingly return to our folly (Proverbs 26:11).
Our goal is to finally learn from our folly and God’s judgment so that we learn to love God’s wisdom over our folly (the message of Psalm 1). Use the following reflective questions to help you make application of Psalm 1.
- Make a list of your bad choices. Divide them into three headings: (1) All time greats; (2) day-to-day misdemeanors; and (3) I still don’t understand why it doesn’t work.
- Examine the list to determine the common lies embedded in these choices or common objects of pursuit in those choices.
- Study to determine the truths that counter the lies or the way God intends to meet those desires.
- Be honest with God about your doubts about His ways and ask that He change your heart.
- Confide in a trusted, mature Christian friend of the same gender regarding the commitments you are making (Hebrews 3:12-13).
Introduction to the “Living Our Faith” series.