May 11

Psalm 1:1-3

Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night.” vss. 1-2

The ancient editors of the scriptures we know as the Psalms chose these verses as an introduction to the whole of the book. It describes in a few words what an authentic life of faith might look like–and we can’t disagree. Those who turn their backs on the ways of the world and who spend their lives meditating on the law of the Lord will very likely have blessed and happy lives. These are the folks who really want to be good people and who believe that there is great benefit in following the rules. We all know people like this–they can be depended on to live beyond reproach, and always do what is right. Their lives are fruitful and just–they’re truly the backbone of our society. But there’s a problem with this kind of living–Jesus noticed it at once when he began his ministry. Such persons as the psalmist describes can often become self-righteous and arrogant in their attitudes toward those who tread the sinners’ path. At their worst they are devoid of compassion and unable to even comprehend the nature of unconditional love. For them everything rests on obedience–anything else can only be condemned. Jesus taught another way! So they killed him!

Thought for the Day: What’s wrong with living beyond reproach?

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