Right and Wrong WordsIs your tongue quick to criticize but slow to apologize?
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Oh, the joys of those who . . . delight in the law of the Lord (vv.1-2).
Last summer, a couple from Sweden took a wrong turn on their way to paradise. The duo was determined
to reach the beautiful island of Capri, Italy. As they headed out from Venice, however, they went the wrong
way. You see, they had accidentally entered “C-A-R-P-I” into their car’s GPS, not “C-A-P-R-I.” So when the two found themselves in the northern town of Carpi, Italy—some 660 kilometers away from Capri—they were redirected to the place where they hoped to pursue happiness, Capri.
Have you and I set a course for happiness that leads to anything but that blissful state? Fortunately, the psalmist provides clear direction: “Oh, the joys of those who . . . delight in the law of the Lord” (1:1-2). When we follow hard after God and dig deep into His Word—taking it to heart—we can be blessed . . . and happy.
In verse 1, we also find that certain things don’t lead to
• Following evil advice. Is our pursuit of happiness
based in the ideals and things of this world, or in God’s
• Standing with sinners. Who’s influencing us and our
path? God leads the godly to good things (v.6).
• Joining with mockers. How have we mocked what is
sacred in our striving after what is silly and worthless?
In verse 2, the psalmist writes that we should be “meditating on [God’s Word] day and night.” We often
“meditate” on things that can never bring happiness. We long for this and that. Objects become our focus and our passion—consuming our thoughts. But even if we get what we want, the short-lived pleasure doesn’t lead to long-term happiness.
Only when we place our full focus on God and His Word will we be like “trees planted along the riverbank” (v.3), flourishing in happiness that comes only from God. —Tom Felten
• Psalm 144:15
• Proverbs 16:20
• Jeremiah 17:7-8
How have you pursued a wrong heading that has
led to your unhappiness? What will it take for you
to know true happiness?
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