Qualities of a Good Life

February 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

What constitutes a happy or good life?  The qualities of a good life in Psalm 112 may not sound so exciting in a self-centered culture where everything is aimed at the satisfaction of the needs and wants of the self.  The psalm begins with  “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands” (112:1).  It then continues to spell out what a life looks like in which the Lord is respected and His commands obeyed (112:2-9).  In this psalm, there is a right course and a wrong course for human living, and not much room for grey areas.  It can be summarized by saying that those who follow God’s path are righteous, gracious, compassionate, generous, just, and trust in the Lord.  These treasures of grace, compassion, generosity, justice, and faithfulness are in sharp contrast to a world characterized by violence, economic and relational hardship, greed, and unfulfilled desires.  The wrong path is a path of “longing” for the latter on which you will “be vexed” with the irritations and frustrations of continuously being in competition with others (112:10).  However, you and I have yet again an opportunity today to follow the right path by living our lives centered on God and other people rather than a self-focused preoccupation with our own achievements.

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