(Proverbs 4:14 KJV) Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
How do I live up to this standard? Every day when I get up I go through the same routine, a path, that takes me to places of business and to a job where I am surrounded by the “wicked” (7563). I follow the directions of superiors who do not acknowledge the call of God on their lives. I am restrained by laws that try to limit my expression of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This week I had a long discussion with a class when again a student brought up the lie, “You can’t talk about God in school.” I am sure that you face the same environment.
In the middle ages people would retreat into monasteries or caves in an attempt to avoid the wickedness that pervaded their culture. It also dominates ours. It did not really work then and it does not work now because sin is a built-in problem. Unless we deal with it in our hearts we will never know victory. The victory is achieved through the blood and the Spirit.
But after that, how do we avoid going down the wrong path? Perhaps it would help to think of the path as a figurative statement. I am on the freeway almost every day. Let me draw a few ideas from that experience. In the metropolitan area we have what are called “car pool lanes.” In theory they are to encourage people to car pool, save the environment and get to work quicker. Although they are following the same route, they are a different path. There are “lanes” we drive in in life. There are choices we make. We are to avoid the ones that are “wicked” (7563).
Let’s go a little deeper into the figurative. I get into a lane and stay in it for long distances. I watch others dodge and weave. I watch people, who I consider motivated by selfishness, act like they are more important than anyone else on the interstate system. They are definitely following a different path that I am, even if we happen to think we are going to the same place.
So? What motivation determines the path you follow through the congestion of life? When you decide to change lanes are you motivated by a desire to beat everyone else or is it a matter of safety or necessity? Do you follow the pattern of the world that always demands that you come out on top or do you follow the path that Jesus laid out and Paul echoed? I struggle with the answer for myself. I hope you do, too.