Read Psalm 1:1-6
“Righteous” and “wicked”. Those are powerful, perhaps even emotionally charged, words. Used incorrectly, they become prideful words of superiority and demeaning words of inferiority. But the Bible uses those terms. Used biblically, “righteous” describes the person who, by faith, has turned to Christ and, as a result, is now seeking to live life God’s way (Rom. 4:3). “Wicked,” meanwhile, is a term used to describe the person who refuses to come to God in faith and subordinate his/her life to the will of God.
In practical terms, righteous people live a “separated” life. You read it there in verse 1. This man . . .
- Does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.
- Does not stand in the path of sinners.
- Does not sit in the seat of scoffers.
In other words, he pursues righteousness by having a close eye on his conduct and watching the company that he keeps.
But righteous living is more than maintaining a list of things to avoid. Stated positively, we grow in righteousness by delighting in the law of the Lord and meditating on it day and night (v. 2). Our conduct, you see, flows out of our concentration. There is a direct relationship between our focus and our performance. We change what we do by addressing how we think.
The two game changers are “delighting in” and “meditating on” the word of God. Those who “delight in” it find joy in spending time in the Scriptures. And “meditating on”? Well that is a lost art. We meditate on God’s word by giving exclusive and extended focus to it. We meditate on it by pondering its meaning and plunging its depths. We meditate on it by eliminating other distractions and giving increased attention to it and it alone. We can meditate through memorization and repetition. We can meditate through question asking, answer seeking, cross referencing, and slowed reading.
And the result? As we increase our thinking about biblical truth, we begin to think biblically and act righteously.