A Psalm 1 Man

Image courtesy of Simon Howden
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The integrity of the upright will guide them. – Proverbs 11:3 (NKJV)

      My father inspected buildings being constructed for the state, making sure the contractors followed the blueprints. Having worked construction himself when he was younger, he knew too well how corners could be cut and a building’s integrity undermined. He refused many a contractor’s overtures, often gifts of liquor stashed in the back seat of his car. His colleagues soon recognized he could not be bought. He would not allow his personal integrity to be undermined.
      The word integrity comes from two Latin words that together mean “untouched, whole, entire.” These two Latin roots also give us integrate, which means “to weave or blend separate entities into a working whole or unit.”
      Personal integrity cannot be put on and off like a garment. Rather it is woven into the moral fabric of our lives over time. We weave it in each time we keep a promise or tell the truth no matter what it costs us, whether it’s claiming all our income on our tax return, returning extra change we received by mistake, or paying the difference when we’re undercharged. We weave it in each time we admit our mistakes and take responsibility for our words and actions.
      My father was a man of integrity – or, as I like to phrase it, a “Psalm 1” man.
      What characterizes a Psalm 1 man, a man of integrity?
      Two things: what he doesn’t do and what he does.
       He doesn’t walk in the counsel of the ungodly, stand around with sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers (v. 1). Notice the verbs show a progression: walking, standing, sitting.     
     Walking in Scripture implies a way of life. The Psalm 1 man walks, all right, but he takes the narrow road, often alone (Matthew 7:13-14). He walks by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7), and he walks in the light (John 8:12). As a result, the man of integrity walks securely (Proverbs 10:9).
      The Psalm 1 man doesn’t “stand in the way of sinners.” He doesn’t hang out with those for whom wickedness is a way of life. He knows that “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33). The man of integrity keeps moving, knowing if he walks with the wise he’ll become wise, and if he associates with fools, he’ll get in trouble (Proverbs 13:20 NLT).
      And the Psalm 1 man doesn’t “sit in the seat of mockers.” Sitting implies settling in and getting comfortable with those who mock God, ridicule Him, and defiantly reject Him. The man of integrity doesn’t join in with those who scorn God and His way. Indeed, he stands up for that which is good and true, right and just, noble and holy.
      The Psalm 1 man knows God’s Word so well it’s a part of him, nourishing him and guiding him, causing him to thrive (verses 2-3).
      All it takes is one man of integrity to influence the world around him. Be that Psalm 1 man.

 May our nation and world be filled with Psalm 1 men. Amen.

Fake News and False Hopes

 

For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. – Psalm 33:4 NIV

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. –Isaiah 40:8 ESV

Scrolling through my Facebook timeline one morning, I came across an interesting video about a new diet plan that was supposed to be biblically inspired.

I was curious to hear what the author had to say about the nutrition secrets she said she discovered in the Bible that would help you to “lose weight, look great, feel younger” and give you more energy than you know what to do with (don’t they all claim that?).

So I watched the video. Well, most of it. And with a grain of salt.

She was a good salesperson. I almost believed her. But her over-the-top claims and a lack of real detail about the eating plan itself led to me believe this was just another copycat low-carb diet. I checked the reviews, which weren’t glowing – and I went to several different websites. Many used the word “scam.” One reviewer even posted a drawing of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

How sad. Even sadder is that she uses the Bible, God, and faith to sell her product.

Watching the video, I could see how it would stir up hope in folks. But it was a false hope.

You’ve got to be careful these days. Technology takes deceit to a whole new level.

Take, for instance, photographs. It used to be a picture told the truth. Not so any more. Using programs such as Photoshop, you can alter a picture by putting things or people in or taking them out, turn items around, or change background scenery so it appears people were where they really weren’t.

And then there are the false news reports and prayer requests posted online. Like the urgent request for a little boy named Dakota who was supposedly life-flighted to a trauma center. After about the umpteenth time it posted, over many months, I checked the legitimacy of this on Snopes.com, which is a good resource to help sort through fact and fiction.

What really breaks my heart is the false hope these deceitful practices give people. No wonder folks are skeptical, cynical, and resistant to believe even the truth when it’s given.

Is there anything we can truly put our faith in? Is there anyone we can believe without a shadow of a doubt?

Yes!

The Bible is full of promises you can believe because the One who made them is someone you can count on.

Here are a few of His promises you can deposit in your promise bank and withdraw whenever you need them. Please note you can never use them up, so once you use them, you can put them back to be used again.

There are lots more where those came from! And you can believe these promises 100-percent because the One who made them keeps His Word. He cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18). He is faithful (2 Timothy 2:13).

God. His Word. His Promises.

Tried, true, and trustworthy.

Which ones do you need today?

Thank You, God, that there IS something I can believe in – You! Amen.

Read and meditate on Psalm 19:7–10.

© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.