Psalms  ◦   Chapter 37

1Do not be distraught over the apparent gains of the selfish
or envy those who persist in violating God’s design of love;

2for they will soon wither like grass,
like flowers of the field they will fade away.

3Trust in the Lord and live to love others;
be active in your community as a shepherd of God’s kingdom of love.

4When you delight in the Lord,
he will give you what your heart desires.

5Commit yourself to following God’s plan — living in harmony with his designs;
trust him with how life turns out and he will do what is best:

6he will renew your character into righteous love that shines brighter every day;
your decisions will radiate goodness like the noonday sun.

7Rest in the Lord and be patient for his plan to unfold;
don’t be distraught when the selfish seem to succeed —
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

8Don’t let anger or resentment take root in your heart;
don’t worry or ruminate — it only inflames selfishness.

9And selfish people will sever themselves from life,
but those who trust in the Lord will inherit the earth.

10It won’t be long, and the selfish will be no more;
you will consider their place in the universe and realize they no longer exist.

11But the humble who trust the Lord and love others will inherit the earth
and enjoy everlasting peace.

12The selfish plot against the unselfish
and viciously attack them;

13but the Lord laughs at their foolishness,
for he sees their end approaching.

14The selfish draw their knives
and load their guns
to kill the humble and those who refuse to defend themselves —
to destroy those who live in harmony with God’s designs.

15But their knives cut through their own hearts,
and their guns will be broken.

16It is better to be unselfish and poor
than to be selfish and rich;

17for the selfish are terminal and will lose all they have,
but the unselfish receive life from the Lord.

18The Lord cares for the unselfish,
and they inherit eternal life.

19In the time of trouble they will not be ashamed;
in the days of spiritual famine, they will be filled.

20But the selfish will perish:
those that oppose the Lord and his design will be like the fat of rams;
consumed in the fires of love, they will go up in smoke.

21The selfish take from others and do not return,
but the unselfish give generously.

22Those blessed by the Lord will inherit the earth,
but those who reject the blessing will be cut off.

23The Lord heals and restores those
who follow his prescription for life;

24even if they sleep in the grave, they will not be eternally lost,
because the Lord holds on to them.

25Once I was young, but I’ve lived long and am now old,
yet I have never seen the unselfish abandoned by God
or their children seeking to feed only themselves.

26They always give generously and lend freely,
and their children live to bless others.

27Turn from selfishness and love other people;
then you will live forever.

28For the Lord loves the unselfish — those who live right —
and will not abandon those who faithfully follow him;
he watches over them forever,
but the children of selfishness will be cut off.

29The unselfish will inherit the earth
and live upon it forever.

30Those who live in harmony with God’s designs speak wisdom,
they tell how reality works — what is right and true.

31God’s design protocol (law) is in their heart
and they don’t sidestep it.

32The selfish spy on the unselfish,
seeking to destroy them;

33but the Lord will not abandon them to the power of the selfish
or let their condemnation stand.

34Wait expectantly for the Lord
and live in harmony with his way.
He will regenerate you to inherit the earth;
you will see: the selfish will be no more.

35I once saw a selfish and cruel person
who appeared to grow in influence and power like a tree growing in good soil,

36but when I looked again, they died and were no more:
though I looked for them, they were nowhere to be found.

37Take note of the person with mature godly character, observe those who live right,
for such living results in peace.

38But all who rebel against God’s design will cease to exist;
the future of the persistently selfish is destruction.

39The remedy that heals the godly comes from the Lord;
he is their sanctuary in troubled times.

40The Lord helps them and rescues them;
he delivers them from the wicked and cures them from their own selfishness
because they trust in him.