At a time like this, with news channels and the media talking non-stop about Coronavirus, it is easy to lose hope and become angry or afraid.
Where can we go, in order to feel better?
To whom can we go, to receive counsel and advice?
This beautiful Psalm gives us some timely advice, in the form of three habits to avoid, and three lifestyle choices to develop.
1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
Psalm 1 (NIV)
Three habits to avoid:
If you notice, these three habits lead on from each other, and get increasingly unhealthy:
- Walking in step with the wicked
- Standing in the way that sinners take
- Sitting in the company of mockers
We all spend a lot of time staring at screens these days, and many of us use social media too.
We do not even need to go out the front door, to walk in step with the wicked.
In our thought life and in our speech, we can easily become, more in step with the wicked, than with our Saviour Jesus.
Walking in the wrong direction is bad for our health, and if we stop, stand and linger, in that wrong place, we are in danger of moving on to the most dangerous habit of all: sitting in the company of mockers.
Maybe we should all ask ourselves some questions?
- What thoughts do I allow, that are unhealthy?
- What things do I say that are unloving, unhelpful and unkind?
- What things do I do, that really amount to mockery?
You may be feeling condemned at this point. Please do not feel condemned. God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Three lifestyle choices to develop:
If you notice, these three lifestyle choices also lead on from each other - but these get increasingly better:
- Delighting in the Word of God
- Meditating on the Word of God - day and night
- Producing fruit
Negative habits form easily. Developing healthy lifestyle choices takes a bit more effort.
Let’s start by enjoying the Word of God.
If we find this hard, then why not ask God to touch our hearts, so that we will fall in love with his Word.
Then, let’s start meditating on God’s word - chewing it over in our minds and letting it sink into our hearts.
And let's ask God to make our lives fruitful:
- Reaching out to others with acts of grace and kindness.
- Being the first to ask for forgiveness.
- Being the first to forgive others.
- Being ready to witness to the world, about our wonderful saviour Jesus.