“The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life.”Proverbs 16:17
I know we’re in Proverbs, but turn with me to Exodus 32 and read the story of the Golden Calf, up through vs. 24. In short, Moses has gone up on Mt. Sinai to receive the 10 Commandments, and is gone so long that the people ask his brother Aaron to make them another god to worship. Aaron carefully crafts a golden calf for them, but when Moses returns and finds what has happened, Aaron explains what happened this way: “So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!” -Exodus 32:24
As if Aaron had nothing to do with it other than tossing some gold into the fire, and out popped this perfectly crafted golden idol. The truth is a bit more complicated than that. The truth is, Aaron’s decisions led to Aaron’s downfall. He can’t just separate his choices from his consequences. He can’t just separate his actions from his outcome. He can’t just separate the path he chose to be on from the problem he found himself in. Let’s tie this back to our Proverb. He can’t just separate his way from his life. “He who guards his way guards his life.”
Are you guarding your way(s)? Are you making decisions that lead to a downfall for the wicked, or to a highway for the upright? There is always a temptation to separate ourselves from responsibility. To play the victim, and pretend that bad things simply happen to us. Sometimes, perhaps. But both the Proverbs and the school of life teach us that our decisions form a trajectory, and that trajectory either leads toward a godly life or away from a godly life. The decisions you make matter. Guard your way, and guard your life. Are you making choices today that lead you to walk on the highway of the upright?