One of the best goals anyone could set is to develop a Psalm 1 kind of life.
What a Psalm 1 Life Looks Like
Psalm 1 describes what this looks like:
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.
We reject certain things: the influence of ideas and people that lead us away from God. Instead, we build eight in God’s law. I love the terms the Psalmist uses: the focus is on delight and meditation, not just reading. It’s on “inward realities,” as Alec Motyer observes. “Godliness starts on the inside.”
It becomes what we think about all the time. D.A. Carson explains what the Psalmist means:
You wake up in the middle of the night and your mind is so full of it that it revolves around what God has declared. You think in those terms, and when you see squabbles developing in the church, or when you see disputes about how things should be done, you just naturally ask yourself, “What does Scripture say? I wonder what God says on this? Is there some part of the Bible that I need to read again here?” He meditates on it day and night.
The result? We’ll become
…like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
We’ll also end up, as verse 6 says, being known, loved, and cared for by God. But if we don’t do this, we’ll experience the opposite result: we’ll be like chaff that the wind blows away. Our lives won’t last.
I know one thing. The older I get, the less I trust human wisdom. I am increasingly wary of the information that bombards us from every angle, shaping how we think and live. I am increasingly convinced of the wisdom of God’s Word, and the importance of allowing it to be the primary influence on our lives.
I also have increasingly realized that a lifetime is only enough to begin to understand Scripture. It would take multiple lifetimes to get to know it as we should. But a lifetime is enough to get started, and to allow Scripture to shape our lives.
We’re just days away from starting a new year. One of the best steps you can take is to plan to develop a Psalm 1 kind of life. Find a Bible reading plan. Read Scripture every day. Find what works for you. Use spare moments if that’s what it takes. (There’s an app for that.) Do whatever it takes.
Don’t treat it as a daily obligation to check off your list. Treat it as the most important influence shaping your mind. Curate other influences, and ensure that Scripture teaches you more than any other source.
My greatest desire for the rest of my life? To become a Psalm 1 kind of person. It’s a pathway to enjoying God, being shaped by his Word, and living a fruitful life. It’s what I want for me and for you.