Thursday, June 17, 2010

Avoiding Bad Advice

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. Psalm 1:1

I find the postures in this verse interesting. You are blessed if you avoid these three postures:

-- Walking in the counsel of the wicked
-- Standing in the way of sinners
-- Sitting in the seat of mockers

Each progressive position causes us to slow down and perhaps listen more: Walk, Stand, Sit. Think about it. When we walk and talk, it’s usually a casual conversation. We’re talking about the weather or shooting the breeze. When we stop to talk, we tend to stand there and talk about things that might interfere with our walking and talking coordination. We’re not in a hurry to get somewhere. We pause to give them a little more of our attention.

Then, there’s sitting. I stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast the other day. The drive thru line was ridiculous, so I parked and walked inside to get my sandwich. As I walked in, I saw a member of the church. I waved. He looked at me like “I know that guy from somewhere.” I walked over and identified myself. We started talking. Then, he said, “Would you like to sit down?” Now I had a dilemma, if I sit down to talk, then there is a possibility that the last car in the drive thru line might be at the pickup window before I have even ordered my food. This would defeat the whole purpose of parking and going inside. I sat down.

We talked for a few minutes. Then, I ordered my sandwich and headed for my car. I walked out of the restaurant wondering if this was actually a God thing that I went inside. I also wondered exactly where that blue minivan was in line at this point. Okay, not really. I don’t remember the color.

I have mentioned these three postures, walking, standing and sitting, in a positive way. But according to the proverb, the blessed person avoids these postures with the wicked, sinners and mockers. Well, doesn’t everybody fit into one of those categories? While none of us is without sin, there is a big difference between occasionally falling short and making sin a lifestyle. The wicked, sinners and mockers fall into the lifestyle side of things.

Who are you walking with? Who are you stopping to consult? Who are you sitting down with? We tell our kids that they will become like the people that they hang around with. So will we. “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character" (1 Corinthians 15:33).

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