Proverbs 14:2 He whose walk is upright fears the Lord, but he whose ways are devious despises him.
This proverb can be taken two ways, both of which are valid. The first is that a person’s lifestyle is evidence of their attitude toward God, and the second is that their lifestyle generates a particular attitude toward God. It really is a self-reinforcing mechanism. If you start out with an awareness of God and a desire to be pleasing to Him, all sorts of things are going to confirm that in your heart and mind, and your life will certainly reflect that. If you start out thinking that religion is stupid and man is supreme, you will consider yourself the ultimate authority and do whatever you please. That in turn will blind you to the abundant evidence of a gracious Creator, and you will discount such when it is pointed out to you. Simple logic tells us which of those produces the better result! We are surrounded with examples of both of these, but the latter is much more likely to be in the news. Only a few news sources pick up on good, happy news of people who are acting as agents of God’s love and grace. However, we are bombarded with news of people who make a wreck of their own lives and the lives of those around them. Actually, the devil uses the media to convince us that “everybody’s doing it, so we might as well get our own piece of the action.” That’s something a really sane person wouldn’t want “a piece of!” The devil does all he can to make us think we can “get away with” stuff, blinding us to the reality that God really does see everything, and He is perfectly holy. We toss around words like “omniscient” and “omnipotent,” but since we are neither of those things we can’t really grasp what it means that God is both of them. It’s kind of like someone saying they “don’t accept” the law of gravity, and they walk off a cliff. Walking straight – and not off a cliff – out of respect for a holy Creator is clearly the path of wisdom.
Again, I had the huge advantage of being taught about God from infancy, by parents who had an active, personal relationship with Him. The devil tricked me into feeling that my superior knowledge made me superior, period, and that pride was a major snare to me. I nearly went off that cliff I was talking about, but in His grace and mercy the Lord opened my eyes to the state of my soul. That was devastating! However, His grace is indeed sufficient for us, and my life today is such that people think I’ve always walked “the straight and narrow.” I’ve tasted twisted paths! As a missionary pastor I deal with people across the spectrum, but I am aware that I have no reason to look down on any of them. My anger needs to be reserved for the devil who has deceived them, remembering that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood.” (Ephesians 6:12) I need to lead people in the path of righteousness by teaching, admonition, and example, for their deliverance and God’s pleasure and glory.
Father, thank You again for Your truly amazing grace. I couldn’t begin to count up all of Your blessings to me personally. Help me be an open channel of Your grace and mercy to those around me, so that they too may walk Your good road that leads to eternity with You. Thank You. Hallelujah!