“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (Prov. 14:12; 16:25)
Our perception, as humans, is a wobbly essence. It must be questioned and provoked without bias. What we perceive as truth can, in reality, be downright untrue. What looks like paradise can be a pile of ruin. What is true is greater than what we believe. It’s something we all know, yet fail to acknowledge in most cases. What’s worse is that Solomon tells us that misfired perception ends in death, most likely a combination of eternal damnation, physical death, death of wisdom to the individual, and death of joy, peace, and productivity in this life. Clearly, we don’t want to make a mistake here.
The words “seems right” appear to refer to an aspect of hastiness, representing a superficial or “surfacy” view of something (i.e. the way something looks at first glance). And, this “way” seems to be a universally wrong perception, affecting the whole of humanity. What is the way that seems right to a man? Here are some suggestions:
1. A hasty way – “…Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way (Prov. 19:2).
2. A lofty way – “…Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Prov. 26:12).
3. A moral way, bereft of the spirit (i.e. obedience merely in letter) – “…Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart” (Prov. 21:2).
4. A temporal way – … “Surely there is a future and your hope will not be cut off” (Prov. 23:18).
5. An emotional way – “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back” (Prov. 29:11).
6. A relativistic way – Proverbs is a series of black and white statements. Just pick one. “The gray” is never elevated to a noble status.
It seems to me that the majority of humanity has lost the ability to recognize truth. We live in a completely relativistic society where all-encompassing, bold, assertive statements are looked down upon and written off as “ignorant” or “close-minded.” We’re afraid to say anything for certain. I don’t know about you, but I just can’t buy into that and I can’t live like that. I want to wake up and live like 2 + 2 = 4. Not, 2 + 2 = 5, or possibly 47, or 119 if you like that number better or it feels better to you. There is truth. There are things that are wrong and things that are right. The question is how do you discern what the truth is?
The truth is predominantly what coincides with reality. I understand that there are hard things in the Bible to comprehend and to believe. And, when contemplating the possibility of “God,” you must certainly leave room for the miraculous. Christianity is first and foremost about faith. I am not trying to deny or downplay that. However, the more I study Scripture the more I realize how perfectly it has pegged our situation as human beings. Christianity, and the teachings of the Bible, make the most sense of what I see on a daily basis. It lines up most closely with our reality. It explains why there is so much evil and pain in the world. It explains why we have so much value as human beings. It explains why we’re so offended by death, and even the thought of it. I could go on and on. Simply put, it makes sense of our realities in a way that all other world views — Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Evolution, Humanism, Marxism, Relativism, you name it – fail to do. That is one big reason, among many others, I believe Christianity is ultimate truth.
If you’ve never taken the time to think about these things, PLEASE take some time to provoke and question your perception with as little bias as possible. If you’ve been burned by Christians or the Church in the past, I’m very sorry, but try to put that aside for a while. Because the way that seems right to you may end in death. Truth is greater than what you believe or what you feel.