“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes.” Proverbs 21:2
Making decisions is undoubtedly one of the most stressful life experiences. Thousands of decisions are made each day ranging from the mundane of choosing shoes to wear to the life-altering. The more life-impacting, the more stressful the decision. I am thankful God gave us a brain and thought processes to evaluate each decision. Often times these procedures, however they look for each individual, lead to good choices resulting in positive life strides. Why then should we be concerned with decisions if we have such positive abilities and acumen on our side?
The statement Proverbs 21:2 makes centers on a simple little word, “right.” How does one define right? Is it the best for a person’s life? Does a right decision lead to more success, more wealth, more peace, more stability? Does a right decision lead to an easier, less complicated life? Is right the same for each person? I guess that is the point of Proverbs 21:2. Everyone does what is right in his own eyes. I don’t believe this verse is necessarily condemning what is right in a person’s mind but instead challenging the idea that we have it all together and figured out. The verse preceding this one illustrates that even a King is like a stream in God’s hand – God controls the flow and sends it wherever He desires.
I believe God cares about each decision we make. All of them have consequences, some greater and some lesser, but consequences none the less. But how often even in the greater decisions do I perform do-diligence and make the best decision void of the One who sees the forest and the trees. Followers of Christ have this unique indwelling of the very God of the universe. The Holy Spirit equips, convicts, encourages and guides. He is faithful to guide through every decision and circumstance but how often do we ask?
God will often give wisdom through the use of our brains and wise counsel but not always. The Bible is filled with stories of crossing raging rivers and gulfs on dry land…filled with stories where armies of 300 defeat tens of thousands…filled with stories of the success of the unlikely, the unwise, and the outnumbered. The Text even tells the story of the very Son of God being born in a smelly cave with animals and being laid in a feeding trough.
It just doesn’t seems right.
In reality, right is defined by God. He is right. His Word is right. His direction is right. While there are checks and balances in following His leading, learning to ask and then listen is critical. God, who sees the unforeseen outcomes and knows the unknowable nuances in every decision, waits to hear our hearts and then patiently guide. One of the earlier verses God used in my life to give direction is a simple verse found in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
God may not lead us the places we think we should go but we can be sure He leads us down the right path.