“He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.”
- Psalm 1:3-4
Remember that time when you were invited to a friend’s house and you knew no
parents were home? How about when some of your friends were passing around
answers to the next quiz coming up and they asked if you wanted a copy? Ever had
someone try to convince you to steal a candy bar at the store? Maybe everyone
laughed when you said you were going to church on Sunday. We all face peer pressure
at some time or another.
Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker says, “You are the average of the five people you
spend the most time with.” You are probably at the point in your life that you spend more
time with your friends than with your parents. Mom isn’t picking your play dates
anymore. You will inevitably pick up the habits of the people you hang out with. And that
makes total sense. You care about them and don’t want to be a disappointment.
Psalm 1:3-4 paints a contrast between two ways of life. Verse 3 refers to the righteous,
or the godly, as a tree with firmly planted roots that bears fruit. This tree is able to
survive through all circumstances and even prosper. In comparison, verse 4 talks about
the wicked, or those not following the Lord, being like chaff. When farmers would
harvest wheat, they would remove the husk around the seed, called the chaff, before
preparing the wheat for human consumption. During the time period this Psalm was
written, the average person knew that chaff was worthless to farmers.
One path mentioned in this Psalm leads to a fruitful and productive life; the other leads
to a life that is empty and without substance. We all have a choice to make between two
ways of life. If we know we are who we hang out with, are we going to hang out with
those who are living by God’s Word or are we going to spend our time with those who
are putting us in uncomfortable situations?
Proverbs 4:25-27 challenges us,
“Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.
Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil.”
When the wind blows and you face those defining moments of peer pressure, you will
see what you really value and prioritize. In those moments, will you be the tree firmly
planted and thriving or will you be the worthless chaff blowing away in the wind? Who
are you looking to as your source?