1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 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.
4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
In every superhero movie, the protagonist is faced with a choice. They have two ways to live; follow the path of light or the path of darkness. Choose good or choose evil. Be awake or continue to dream.
A cursory glance at Psalm 1 tells the moral person that the path is clear. Choose righteousness. Choose to be a tree planted by streams of water. Choose to prosper. Why would you want anything else? Yet take a moment to consider your own heart. Which of us doesn't like listening to false flattery or engaging in a juicy bit of gossip (counsel of the wicked)? Which of us hasn't allowed anger, greed, or lust to swallow our hearts and minds (stand in the way of sinners)? Which of us hasn't had a bout of unbelief, questioning the goodness of our God, doubting that His promises are true and that He is who He says He is (sits in the seat of mockers)?
Or approach it from what you don't regularly do. What does it look like to love God's law? To not only obey it in a manner that leads to self-denial and self-forgetfulness but to love dying to yourself? To meditate on it in every moment, to have it be the song of your heart, the first thought when you wake and the last when you sleep? I can't say I've ever known what that's like.
So the truth is, while there might be two ways to live, I only seem to follow one path; that of the wicked.
Thanks be to God though that Jesus lived in perfect righteousness for us. That He didn't just love God's law, He fulfilled every single letter of it and had nothing to do with sinners and scoffers. Yet as the Righteous One, He still went to the cross, stood in our place, and received the judgment for us. All so that by His sacrifice, we might stand in the congregation of the righteous. So that we might yield the fruit of the Spirit as we remain grafted into the tree of life that is Christ. That even in our sinfulness, we would not wither but may prosper for Christ is our righteousness. He is our life.
So yes, it's true, there really are only two ways to live. But it's not to do good or do evil.
It's either in Christ or without Christ. Which path will you walk down today and all your days?