Psalm 1 – Subtleties

By Aaron Elder

When I read the Psalms I’ve begun to notice subtle, but dangerous, tendencies in my response and reaction when reading. Psalm 1 hit me a few years ago, and it has become a great checkpoint for me.

As I read over Psalm 1, my first thought is “I want to be the man described in verses 1-3.” This is a noble aspiration – a worthy thing to desire. Here’s where things get dangerous for me: If I’m honest with myself, I’m far more interested in being viewed this way by others than I am in actually knowing God more intimately. I often end up doing spiritual activities, not because I think it will create added intimacy with God, but so that I will build “street cred” with other (read: certain) Christians whose praise I desire most.

I define walking uprightly by how many boxes I can check in my spiritual life. Rather than delighting in God’s law, I parse it out to define more easily who is blessed and who is wicked. In place of prospering in Christ, I can’t stop thinking about how important I am.

The irony is that the man of whom these things is described is one who is lost in the depths of his relationship with God and uninterested in his status. We would think it silly if we waxed poetic about marriage yet were rarely home to get to know our wives. So too with God.

As I write this I find I’m lacking in this way with both my wife and with Christ. I do look forward to growing in this way that I might know my wife and my God more deeply.

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