Does Your Way Lead to Death?
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Prov 14:12)
Proverbs 14:12 points out a systemic problem in our choices and viewpoints each day: we convince ourselves that our way is the right way. We deceive ourselves by choosing to read only those things that reinforce our way, rather than those things that reassess our way. We befriend those who have our particular viewpoint, surrounding ourselves with like-mindedness and pushing away those who have different viewpoints.
If you don’t think this is a problem for you, then it might be too late…you are already deceived.
Is your way the way to death?
For me, my thinking is grounded frequently in selfishness and self-preservation. By default, I think about what is best for me and my situation. Thus my “way” often seems right to me because I am thinking primarily about me and my concerns.
Instead, I must counter this with facing the question: is my “way” benefiting me or is it benefiting others? In every dilemma I face, every ethical question I come across, I must ask how my choice or viewpoint benefits others over me.
A Greater Concern
But more importantly, is my way tied to The Way? Jesus said in John 14:6,
I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life
The gospel is not simply an entrance into heaven: it demands that we submit ourselves to the entire program of Jesus as King. His Way (which is Himself!) must become the center of our thinking. What is important to the kingdom of God must become important to us. The culture of the kingdom of Christ must become our culture.
This Way, this kingdom of the Messiah, is intended to break into our present earth through living, visible statutes—and we call them Christians. Thus, it’s not enough for us to choose a “wise way” or a “smart way” or a “safe way” or a “conservative way” or even an “evangelical way.” We must confront ourselves and make sure our way is The Way, the Way of the Kingdom of the Cross...if we are honest, more often our way is the way of the culture around us (even the sub-Christian culture!)
Does your way embody the kingdom of Jesus? Does your way proclaim to all the nations that Jesus is more supremely valuable than life itself? Does your way teach your children that God is greater than earthly comfort? Does your way magnify the Cross?
We follow the Way of a poor Nazarene, who was bloodied so that His Way would become our Way—and thus the whole world would sit up and see a new Way.
Don’t choose the easy way, choose the Way of the poor and bloodied Nazarene.