I love the Psalms. I think the Psalms are in the Bible to keep us honest about our life of faith. But I have to say this: I have a problem with the way we typically approach the Psalms. We like to think of them as spiritual fast-food. We’ll read a quick Psalm, say a short prayer, and have our ticket punched for eternity that day!
Instead, we ought to treat each Psalm like a gourmet meal. We should be slow and meticulous in the way we consume them. Let’s do that over the next three weeks with Psalm 1. We’ll look at three inescapable realities that the Psalmist observes:
1) You live in a world of inescapable influence
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2)
You live in a world of counsel. Every day, somehow, some way, you’re being counseled. Everything you encounter originates from some kind of worldview. Everything you experience comes from somebody with a certain perspective on life.
Think about it. The journalist that reports on the news of the world doesn’t provide a completely objective fact sheet. They bring with them a certain set of personal beliefs, and there is subtle counsel in each news segment.
The radio host that you listen to on the way to work has a perspective on life, and the content they choose to fill their show with provides some type of counsel. The author of the blog you read during lunch has a worldview and wants to share that with you.
The list goes on and on. The characters in your favorite sitcom; the lyrics of your favorite artist; the script of your favorite movie… You must be aware that you’re always being counseled.
But this counsel isn’t passive. It’s not an innocent “sharing of opinions.” Embedded in all that counsel is a call to action: “this is the way you should think” or “this is what you should desire” or “this is what you should do.” It’s inescapable.
Imagine this scene. It's like sitting in a high school gymnasium, five minutes before the assembly starts, and everybody's talking at once. That's what it’s like to live in our world. You're constantly getting bombarded with perspectives and views of life.
If the world isn’t passive in its influence, we certainly shouldn’t be passive either. The Psalmist takes note of that – the “blessed man” is active, pursuing Godly influence. He delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on it day and night.
There’s an active pursuit being pictured here. We should actively find delight in the truths of Scripture and actively seek out the grace of God in its various forms. We should pursue Truth and be a student of it, not so much to master it, but to be mastered by it.
So as you go through each day, be prudent; a thousand voices will try to influence your worldview. Be proactive; pursue the Lord and meditate on His Word. And be prepared; God has given you the ability to influence, and you’ll have opportunities to counsel others.
- What voices of influence surround your everyday life?
- Are you allowing the wrong voices to influence you?
- How can you actively pursue wise counsel?
- How can you bring Godly counsel to others?
Paul David Tripp