Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”
I’m sure you’re familiar with the song “I did it my way.” Many artists have recorded it. Perhaps the version I’m most familiar with was sung by Frank Sinatra. It’s a song that extols the pride of someone that did what he did in life “my way.” It’s as if that, in and of itself, is a sign of virtue. The first stanza goes like this: “And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain. My friends, I’ll say it clear I’ll state my case of which I’m certain, I’ve lived a life that’s full, I traveled each and every highway, but more, much more than this I did it my way.”
Notice how the song speaks of facing “the final curtain” and doing it “my way.” So, is that a good thing? Is that something we will be able to find comfort and take pride in when the end is not only “near” but when it is “here,” for indeed the end is coming for each and every one of us. Well, we should know that God has answered that question for us in His Word. In the verse above He tells us about “a way that seems right to a man.” We could all call this “my way,” if you will. Every one of us has a “way” we are living, a path we are following, as we move through life. Many may not think of it in such terms. They may just take life as it comes, living one day at a time with no overall plan in mind. Others have a very specific path they follow. They are those who are big on planning. Perhaps they, from a young age, had specific goals for their life in mind, and they’ve pursued those goals assiduously. Well, whether we have a laissez faire view of life, or we are just the opposite with very specific goals, each is a “way.”
Many people have secular philosophies or a religion that they believe in and that greatly influences their “way.” They follow that path in life because it seems right to them, and at the very least, they hope that it is. To all this, God has given us this very stark warning: if our “way,” no matter what it is, is other than the “Way” He has laid out for us, then the end of that way is death. Since the Bible is a book, first and foremost, about eternity, the death it is speaking of here is eternal death, the second death, which is an eternity shut out from the presence of God in hell. It’s a warning that when we stand before the throne of the King of kings in the end, we will stand there after having lived a life doing it “my way” or His Way. And the Bible, from beginning to end, describes for us the Way of God, and that Way is Christ. Jesus put it in these terms in John 14:6: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Elsewhere the Lord has told us that “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
It is God’s Way, the Way of the cross, that leads home. It is the confession before God that without Him we are on what Jesus called “the broad way that leads to destruction” (Matthew 7:13-14). It’s a way that’s so broad that every other “way” that is other than the way of salvation through faith in Him, will fit there. The Way that leads to the Father in Heaven involves repentance, turning off that way by confessing the sinful way of life that we’ve been following without Him, asking Him for forgiveness of that sin, and yielding ourselves to the One Who alone is the Way of Truth, the Way of Life, and the only Way to the Father in Heaven.
So what way are you on? What way is it that you could point to and say, “I’m doing it my way”? Is it the way of the cross, or some other way? May God lead you from a way that leads to death to the one and only way that leads to life, the way that is higher than our ways as the heavens are above the earth, for it’s the way that’s been given to us by One Whose ways are infinitely higher and better than ours.