Psalm 1 : 1 -3
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
As I start this new year I am really thinking about what it means to “walk” with God. This verse from the very first poem in the Bible’s poetry section, the Psalms, is a reminder that walking with God means walking a righteous walk.
It is important to note that walking with God is not a self-righteous walk. I think religious folks too often get this wrong.
The self-righteous walk is not a humble walk. It is an arrogant walk. It is the walk that is sure that you are right and everybody else is wrong. The self-righteous walk is based on a deep feeling of moral superiority. I am just better than you and unless you “walk” the way I, and people like me, walk. Self-righteousness is a major stumbling block for the love and grace of God.
What does it mean to walk the righteous walk?
It means to walk for what for it is right. It means walking in the ways of justice. It means walking in the ways of peace. It means walking in the ways of inclusion.
The righteous walk is defined by who you are walking with. Walk with those who are marginalized. With the hungry and the homeless. Walk with the left out, the lonely and the left behind. Walk with those no one walks with.
There is a line in this Psalm that also really strikes me. When we walk the righteous walk there are places we will not go. It says the righteous walk will not lead us into the company of the mockers or as another version says the righteous “will not sit in the seat of the scoffers.”
It feels like it has been quite a season of mocking and scoffing. This past election cycle has worn us all out with the name calling and ridiculing. It has been a season of exploiting people’s weaknesses and pinpointing their worst moments and attributes. Mocking and scoffing is all about tearing people and things down. The righteous walk is about building people and things up.
It is too easy for me to go negative. It is too easy to rip on people. I can become like those two guys from the muppet show who sit in the balcony and critique and criticize everything they see on the stage
As I begin my year I am just not going to sit with scoffers. It doesn’t mean I won’t speak out against injustice – the righteous walk requires it. I am just going to spend way more time building things and people up.
See you on the walk my friends!