Judging Ourselves by Our Own Standard
There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.
I was reading in the Proverbs and came across a verse that seems to perfectly describe the contemporary church culture of today. Surprised? You really shouldn’t be. After all, we are living large in the land of Laodicea where our mantra, our politically correct slogan, our bumper sticker of choice is: “Look at me, I’m important, I have worth, I matter to me.” We think it’s all about us, all about our wants and our desires and our opinions and our likes and dislikes. Our life literally revolves around us. It’s about who we friend on Facebook, who we tweet with our self-inflated pearls of wisdom and how cool and sexy and desirable we think we look in the thousands of selfies we post for everyone to see. We believe the world is anxiously waiting for us to post the next bit of trivia in our lives so they can rejoice with us at the picture of the meal we are eating or that we just completed 2 miles on the treadmill or how cute our cat looks all curled up on the couch. Our thoughts become consumed with “who is following me on Twitter, how many friends do I have on Facebook, who is checking out my profile? Wow! I must be something!”
And this chain of self-absorbed and prideful thinking then bleeds over into our spiritual lives and we begin to reason that if God were really the God we think He is… no, if He was the God we created Him to be, then He would see things our way. He would have the “mind of His creation” and not expect us to “have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16). He would be our clone, our twin, someone greater than us designed to do our bidding and meet our every need. And why not? It’s all about us, isn’t it?
But that’s not at all who God is— and we know it. We just chafe at the thought of having to submit our will and conform our lives to the likeness of someone we can’t control or even understand. And if we were honest, we really want it to be about us and not about Him.
But that’s what the Christian life is all about. The life in Christ is a life of dependency and submission and not of self-will and self-gratification. It’s not a life of relying on our own understanding and choosing what is best in our own eyes. It’s not a life that “seems right” to each of us based on our own carnal, fallen sense of morality and righteousness. It’s not about living by our own rules and then feeling good about what we feel good about.
In other words, it’s not about us. Never has been. Never will be.
If we persist in demanding to be the god in our own life and to judge ourselves by our own standards we will inevitably continue to slide down the way that seems right to each of us. We will continue to journey down the path of living to only satisfy what we want to do, what we feel good about and what makes our flesh happy with ourselves. We will, in effect, reject God’s standards and pay a frightening price for doing so.
Proverbs 14:12 states:
There is a way or a path, journey, manner of living
that seems right or correct, or just
to a man or to each of us
but its end or the end result of going down that path that seems right or correct to us
is the way of death.
The Word of God clearly states the consequence of going our own way, of living like Laodiceans, of doing what seems right in our own eyes, of shaking our fist in the face of a holy, sovereign God who saved us by the death of His only Son— is death. It’s spiritual death, eternal death, physical death, moral death, certain death.
This is not the time to journey down the path that seems right to each of us. It’s not the time to do what our heart tells us to do. Why? Because God’s Word says that our heart is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9) and is not to be trusted. Plus, following our wicked and deceitful heart will only lead us down the path of death and destruction, so say the Proverbs.
Remember the words of Jesus: “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” Or, “Why do you call me Lord and not obey Me or follow My commands?” One answer for the almost criminal carnality and disobedience in the church today is found in 1 John 1:6 where John says: If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
Let’s look at that verse a little closer.
If we say that we have fellowship or communion, participation, koinōnía
with Him or say we are Believers, follower of Christ, Christians
and walk in darkness or live unlike the Lord we claim to love and serve, to disobey His commands and neglect His Word
we lie in saying we are Believers, followers of Christ, Christians
and do not practice the truth or live like the Lord we claim to serve.
In effect, we are heading down the way of death according to Proverbs 14:12.
So which is it? Are we carnal and self-absorbed because we don’t truly know the Lord and are lost and deceived in thinking we belong to Him? Or are we simply losers in the spiritual life and suck at following Christ? Look deep inside of you and ask, Which is it?
It is now the time to stand for Truth (John 14:6), to surrender our lives to the One who created us (Rom. 12:1-2), and to walk as children of light and not children of darkness (Eph. 5:8). It essence, it is high time to become obedient to the Lord and the Word of God.
Adveho quis may.
Come what may.