If I aspire to anything, it’s to live a Psalm 1 life.
Psalm 1 captivates me. It pictures two ways of life. There are only two ways, after all. We think there are more, but the choice before us is binary.
One is to listen to all the wrong voices, to be shaped by views of life that seem to make a sense of a lot of people. It’s to allow ourselves to be influenced by the zeitgeist, to be consumed with a constant diet of posts and media that drag us, slowly and imperceptibly, away from God.
There’s only one other way to live. It’s to delight in God’s law, ruminating over them morning, evening, and in between.
Only two ways exist in this life, and they lead to radically different results.
The first way leads to a chaff-like life: when adversity comes, we won’t be able to withstand it. Even worse, we will be unable to stand at the final judgment, and excluded from God’s people.
The other way leads to a life of flourishing, even under adverse conditions, as well as being known and loved by God. It includes words like blessedness, fruitfulness, flourishing, prospering, durability, and delight.
Psalm 1 serves as a gateway to the psalms. It’s the ultimate “choose your own adventure” invitation. I’ve seen it played out too. I’ve lived long enough to watch both paths and I’ve seen where they lead. The first way looks inviting but disappoints; the second way looks disappointing at first but leads to life.
Both ways of living are very relational. Psalm 1 points out how we’re shaped by either one group of people or the other. We think we walk alone, but our destinies are shaped by the kind of company that we keep.
I want a Psalm 1 life.
I want to grow in my love and desire for God’s Word. I want to allow it to shape my thoughts and affections. I don’t want to see Scripture as an obligation but as a gift. I want to have Scripture running through my mind at all times, even in the background when I’m thinking of something else. I want to be able to spot the lies that the enemy and the world tell me, and to build a life that can withstand adversity. I want to be known and loved by God.
How we live shapes us. We don’t get to choose the outcomes. We just get to choose which path we take.
I didn’t always realize this, but the greatest privilege I have is to aspire to become a Psalm 1 kind of person, and invite others to join me.
Ancient interpreters saw this psalm as a description of the character of Jesus, so in pursuing this kind of life, we’re actually walking in the footsteps of our Lord. We get to follow him and enjoy the benefits of his living out this psalm perfectly for us. When we talk about the Psalm 1 life, we’re actually talking about Jesus.