Sunday, January 1, 2017

Psalm 1 - Smart-Mouth College

Ha! (I'll explain the post title in just a bit.)

I posted yesterday that I'm doing the Psalm a Day challenge again in 2017. My first Psalm a Day challenge was five years ago. Many accepted the challenge and read a Psalm a day and some commented regularly. It was a wonderful project. I'm glad God led me to read and blog about a Psalm a day again this year. It is a fun challenge that makes a nice New Year's goal (if you're looking for one.)

Yesterday I suggested that you read the Psalms in different translations to get a fresh look at the Psalms. I sometimes find myself skimming over words that I'm very familiar with. Maybe that doesn't happen to you.....

So.. haha... I read Psalm 1 in several translations tonight and also in "The Message" (which is NOT a translation, but rather a paraphrase. Maybe I'll post about the difference between the two another time.)

Here is the first verse of Psalm 1 as written in "The Message."

1 How well God must like you - 
you don't hang out at Sin Saloon, 
you don't slink along Dead-End Road, 
you don't go to Smart-Mouth College.

(As a side note - don't base your theology or understanding of a passage of scripture on a paraphrase. "Sin-Saloon?" hahaha)

The New Living Translation words that last phrase like this "join in with mockers."

In our current "social media" age it is very easy to "join in with mockers" and have a "smart mouth." I'm amazed at the rude and hateful things that people feel free to share through the seemingly safe distance and semi-anonymity of Facebook and Twitter. Those who find themselves caught in the swamp of mockery are missing out on being blessed and on being a blessing to others.

Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the one 
who does not walk in step with the wicked 
or stand in the way that sinners take 
or sit in the company of mockers, 
New International Version 

The thing that is going to keep you from falling into the mocking trap (and walking with the wicked and standing with sinners) is spending time in God's Word. It's more than just reading a few verses and a short devotional written by someone else. It's a matter of reading God's Word and then spending some time meditating, contemplating, figuring out what you have read. What does God want you to do with what you have read? 
Start doing something? Stop doing something?
Do something for someone else?
Ask forgiveness? Give forgiveness?

I don't like making a list here because I don't want to limit what you think God might be saying to you. If you ask God to speak to you and spend time in His Word you'll hear from Him. 

But I would like to encourage you in this - use social media as a way to encourage others. Don't be a mocker, but instead share words of life and love. Be salt and light to a world that is overwhelmed with mockery.
6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

I think you'll find that as you work to be a blessing to others instead of a being a mocker that you will in turn find yourself to be blessed as well. (And it's much better than getting a degree from Smart-mouth College. hahaha)

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