Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers - Psalm 1:1
What a powerful statement from the opening words in the book of Psalms! I taught my Sunday School class this a few weeks ago, and God has been teaching it to me since then. It has permeated my thoughts, and I cannot shake it loose.
How often do we walk in the counsel of those who are not righteous? We seek those who will tell us we're justified in our actions and thoughts so that we can go on doing our own will. Perhaps we don't even do it actively, but passively accepting the world's standards for our beliefs and behavior.
How often do we stand in the way of sinners? We would rather not be "set apart" as the Bible commands, but instead seek acceptance and to fit in. We see the short-term "delight" of sin, rather than its true nature - the Addictive Consuming Destroyer. We would rather be silent than have fire in our bellies. We would rather sacrifice standing up for what's true and good and right for comfort and acceptance and the status quo.
How often do we sit in the seat of mockers? Concentrating on the negative. Sarcastic. Back-biting. Gossips. Hiding behind the guise of "constructive criticism". It's a whole lot easier to be a critic than to actually produce something of value. It's easier to mock failure than to risk it ourselves.
Notice the progression... walking, standing, sitting.... we move progressively down the path towards complacency. Towards redefining our true identity.
Thank you God for sending your son to earth to redeem me from that path. For showing me my true identity in you and who you created me to be. I pray that that truth is real to others this Christmas as well, and that we would walk with you, stand with you, and sit at your throne. Amen.