Living Without Regret
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. /// Psalm 1:1-6 (NASB)
Dr. Stephen R. Covey was an American educator and author is well known for his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In it he says “It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busyness of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover that it’s leaning against the wrong wall… The key is not to prioritize your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” Psalm 1 speaks to the priorities in life. It all starts with counsel (advice, a plan, the idea of a plot), path (traveled way, journey), and seat (a habitation, dwelling place). During this time, you were known more by your group rather than your individuality. We see Jesus confronted by his association with others on multiple occasions.
My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood, let us ambush the innocent without cause. Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, even whole, as those who go down to the pit. We will find all kinds of precious wealth, we will fill our houses with spoil. Throw in your lot with us, we shall all have one purse,” My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, for their feet run to evil and they hasten to shed blood. Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net in the sight of any bird. But they lie in wait for their own blood; they ambush their own lives. So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence; it takes away the life of its possessors. /// Proverbs 1:10-19 (NASB)
We aren’t meant to remove ourselves from the world and association with anyone, but rather we are supposed to influence those around us. (Romans 12:2 NASB & MSG) We need to schedule our priority of position – that place from which we draw our life direction. Just like Psalm 1 says, we need to be a firmly rooted tree planted by water. The roots mirror the branch system, both reaching up and down for nourishment. In storms, leaves and branches often stay attached to the tree because they get life from the roots. When they’re shaken for their fruit, leaves still stay attached to the tree.
Now, let’s examine chaff. When a grain matures, the outer shell (or chaff) was formed to protect the kernel within but is then no longer needed. It’s easily separated from the kernels, and has no nutritional value; when there is no life in the chaff, it is separated and discarded. If we don’t have our roots planted firmly in the Word, and don’t maintain a healthy, godly, righteous faith, we can die off and become chaff with no value.
Those who position themselves in God’s instruction have all they need in God’s timing. Those whose possession is God’s living testimony fill their lives with God’s stability. And finally, if you live like this, you’ll enjoy God’s companionship on the way and reach the end with your ladder leaning on the right wall. That is a life without regret.
- Psalm 1:1-6 (NASB)
- Proverbs 1:10-19 (NASB)
- Mark 15:21
- Luke 1:27
- John 1:45-46
- Matthew 9:9-12
- Romans 12:2 (NASB & MSG)
- Philippians 4:8
- Psalm 2:1-5
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