Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Discovering the Joy Filled Life

Oh, the joys of those who do not

follow the advice of the wicked,

or stand around with sinners,

or join in with mockers. (Psalm 1:1 NLT)

Other translations begin this verse with "Blessed is the man..." I like the phrasing of the NLT, "Oh, the joys..." This is a good reminder that the blessed life is a life of joy. Blessings do not necessarily come in the shape of material or financial gain. Blessings are not always related to our circumstances. Blessings do not have to be us receiving something really wanted. However, the blessed life is always a life full of joy.

JOY IS NOT RELATED TO OUR CIRCUMSTANCES. (Here are some other thoughts on "joy")

Interestingly, in Psalm 1, the author first points to what does NOT bring the joy-filled life (He will use verse 2 to explain the source of the blessed life). Here is the conclusion. Joy is not found in the coalitions you create for your own benefit. I know it maybe doesn't exactly say this, but let me suggest that is exactly what it means. Consider this:

  • Since the garden of Eden, self-exaltation has been at the root of all evil.
  • The wicked, the sinners, and the mockers are all people who can be characterized first as those who are selfish.
  • These are people who create relationships for their own gain. Those who enter relationships with these people do so for their own gain, even if that "gain" is simply feeling more popular or better about oneself.
  • Relationships which center around my own desires and advancement will never bring me joy.
Take it from someone who has lived this experiment, and who has seen the devastation caused when relationships are leveraged for personal gain. The relationships you have will never completely fulfill you... ESPECIALLY, if they are relationships formed with the wicked, the sinners, and the mockers... aka the self-absorbed.

But...

Wait for verse 2, there the secret of a joyful life is revealed.

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