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Daily Devotional: Understanding the Greatest Commandment - A boy with outstretched arms at sunset over the sea. Daily Devotional: Understanding the Greatest Commandment - A boy with outstretched arms at sunset over the sea.

Daily Devotional | Choose Carefully


Friends have a powerful influence on us. Good friends help reduce our stress and process our pain. Together, we rejoice and mourn. They increase our happiness, encourage our good choices and our self-control. Of course, the wrong friends can have the opposite effect. They tear us down, tempt us to sin, or even abandon us in our time of need.

Psalm 1 warns against keeping the wrong types of friends. God blesses those who do not “walk in the step with the wicked, or stand in the way that sinners take, or sit in the company of mockers” (v. 1). This is not material blessing, but the joy that comes only from a consistent relationship with God. The walk, stand, sit progression used here helps us understand what it looks like to become increasingly involved with immoral people. The unwise subject moves from being casually connected to the wicked to communing with those who have chosen a hardened lifestyle of sin.

The Psalmist then paints the opposite picture. The blessed person delights in the law of the Lord (v. 2). He desires it, pursues it, and meditates on it continually. He fills his mind and his heart with God’s Word. This is his habit, and the application of it is his joy. Such meditation produces a deeply-rooted and fruitful life, described as “a tree planted by streams of water,” which maintains its fruitfulness and vitality in all sorts of seasons (v. 3).

There is a contrast between the abundant life of the righteous and the worthless and temporary existence of the wicked. One is a tree that thrives and endures, the other is blown away by the wind (v. 4). The Lord knows and cares for the righteous. In response, we demonstrate our love for Him by meditating on His law and being careful about the company we keep.

Go Deeper

Have you experienced friendships that either built you up in Christ or caused you to sin? What are the cautions of the Psalmist to us about choosing close friends?

Pray with Us: Lord, what a comfort it is to know that You call us friends! Those who know You can count on Your love and friendship, and this helps us better reach the hearts of those who don’t yet know You.

BY Kelli Worrall

Kelli Worrall is Professor of Communications and Chair of the Division of Music and Media Arts at Moody Bible Institute. She is the author of several books, including Pierced and Embraced: 7 Life-Changing Encounters with the Love of Christ. Kelli studied at Cedarville University (BA), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (MRE), and Roosevelt University (MFA). Kelli and her husband, Peter, are parents of two children through adoption and enjoy decorating their Craftsman house.

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