07/06/22 Both/And

READING: Psalm 1-2, 10, 33, 71, 91 

Today’s devotion is both confession and reflection for me. When I became a believer at age 13, it didn’t take me long to figure out that, at least in my thinking, everything was black-and-white, right or wrong, “my way or the highway.” That thinking influenced my young pastorate, when I saw myself more the arbiter of truth than the Word was. Many of my messages, I fear, were more legalism than gospel. I would never have admitted that then (or even recognized it, probably), but it’s easier to see now. 

In that sense, I would have paid much attention to Psalm 1:1 – “How happy is the one who does not walk in the advice of the wicked or stand in the pathway with sinners or sit in the company of mockers” – while giving far too little attention to Psalm 1:2 – “Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night.” You see, I would have worked hard to avoid the wicked, the sinners, the mockers (and that would have been anyone who differed from me), but I did not delight in the Lord’s instruction or meditate on it day and night. I didn’t need to when I thought I knew what I needed to know anyway. 

I pray and trust the Lord has long since changed my heart. At a minimum, I know Psalm 1:1-2 are not either/or verses; they are both/and. Our love for the Lord and His instruction should keep us from being influenced by and compromising with non-believers, and our desire to please Him and follow His Word should make us wise in our relationship choices. The psalmist understood that. 

PERSONAL REFLECTION: Do you generally walk more in the way of the wicked or the way of the righteous?    

DAILY PRAYER: “God, plant my heart in You.” 


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