The truly happy person
doesn’t follow wicked advice,
doesn’t stand on the road of sinners,
and doesn’t sit with the disrespectful.
2 Instead of doing those things,
these persons love the Lord’s Instruction,
and they recite God’s Instruction day and night! (Psalm 1:1-2)
The difference between God's way and the way of the lost is very clear, at first. It is obvious to us what pleases God and what does not. But unless we keep ourselves alive and fresh in God's Word, it becomes less clear to us and compromise seems necessary, often the only way, to achieve our goals.
It is the reason why so many older Christians temper their passion and make excuses for accepting what once they would have stood against. It is the reason so many preachers seem to wonder, the further they travel down the road. As we achieve success in the sight of the world the more value we put on the opinion of the world. We find more time to fit in the priorities of the world and less time for God's Word.
Psalm 1 seems so obvious to us but it is not saying wicked advice but the advice of the wicked. Who are the wicked? People who do wrong? Maybe from the point of morality but from God's perspective the wicked are those who are in rebellion against him; those who are without Jesus. And yet Christians flock to anyone in the world who appears to be wise, especially about finances. We don't take note if they are in the Lord. We don't consider the source of this wisdom. Advice is advice, wisdom is wisdom, and we don't bother about the source.
How much compromise does it take before we are standing on the road of sinners, doing what they do, just hiding it better? Where are we when it comes to generosity, kindness, love, respect, forgiveness, grace? Again, not from the perspective of morality but the transforming power of Jesus. Has compromise cut in on our transformation? If you hate, are jealous, hold on to hurts, fail to forgive, then you stand on the road of sinners.
You call yourself a Christian. Have your spoken against the leader of your country? What about your mayor? Have you laughed at the jokes against them? Have you laughed at jokes against God? You my friend are a mocker. That mocking will eat away at your faith so that soon you will even mock the simple things of trust in God. Compromise comes in all kinds of forms.
But who are they that are filled with joy, peace, trust, laughter, sincerity? Are they not the ones who shun the way of this world and choose God's way? Are they not the ones who take their pleasure in knowing and doing the will of the Father? Are they not the ones who choose to set their mind and heart on the things above instead of this place? Are they not the ones who take delight in God's Word over all other delights and desire only to know him more? Are they not the ones who refuse to compromise?
To which camp do you belong?