Location, Location, Location

How happy is the one who does not walk in the advice of the wicked or stand in the pathway with sinners or sit in the company of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams that bears its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers, Psalm 1:1-3, CSB.

I have a group of friends whose company consistently uplifts me. We always have fun, but more importantly we are intentional about making our time meaningful. We talk about life and truly listen to one another. We make the most of our time so that we each walk away with a full heart. It’s as if each person is pouring from their own cup so generously that no cup is left empty in the end. 

Of course, we have all experienced the opposite, when our time with someone is like an energy vacuum. and leaves us feeling deflated and discouraged. Worse than time with someone who unintentionally sucks the life out of us is time with someone who brings us into their orbit of deceit. These people can seem fun and our time with them seems enjoyable, until we realize they are pulling us into a place we never intended to be. These people are funny, but their jokes are at the expense of others. They have a good time doing hurtful things. They are the ‘bad crowd’ our mothers warned us to avoid but can seem so tempting to join. As the psalmist tells us in this passage, the short lived bloom of sinners and mockers will wither in time and rob our happiness.

Our location impacts whether we flourish or fade. God created us with a need to grow both roots and fruit. We need to be planted near nourishment, and have regular access to streams that will hydrate and not hijack. Delighting in God’s Word and spending time soaking it up will lead to lasting fruit. A tribe who is into soaking up and dishing out the love of Jesus will lead us to nourishment. We can certainly be friendly with and loving to people who are not planted in God’s Word, but we can’t put down roots with them and soak up their poison. 

God’s Word will nourish us, and placing ourselves near his people gives us better access to that stream of spiritual nutrition and hydration. Where are you located right now? What are you soaking up and allowing to influence your heart and mind? 

Prayer: God, you are the source of life. Thank you for sending friends to encourage me and point me to you. I am sorry for the times I participated in humor at the expense of others and conversations that were hurtful to your children. Help me to discern where I should be planted, and enable me to meditate on your Word often and fervently. Amen

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