**Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. ** Proverbs 4:26
Choosing our words and our view of others consciously and asking the Lord for help to choose well could improve many aspects of our day to day. Our outlook on our day may be brighter. We could leave negativism and criticism in our yesterdays. And the impact we make on our world could be positive and lasting.
Proverbs 4 also reminds us to be conscious of the ways or paths we choose to walk in. This verse makes me think of Psalm 1 and the man who chooses where to walk, stand and sit. Each step draws him closer to the Lord or farther from Him. Every choice determines his overall outcome. What he will be known for. What he can expect for a result to the choices he makes.
So, what ways might Proverbs 4 be talking about?
We have all heard the obvious public roads we can choose every day. The road to drinking, drugs, immorality, gambling and on and on.
But maybe there are some more hidden roads that we might need to avoid.
Like the road to pride. Or the road to discouragement. Maybe we are tempted with the path of hardening our heart against the Lord’s correction. Or the road of lack of gratitude for all the good that the Lord is doing in our lives. Sometimes we make the mistake of guiding our steps down the path of focusing on all the bad things that happened today and forget or miss the good.
In the garden of Eden, the serpent was subtle. He didn’t tempt Eve with a giant road sign to take her off the Lord’s path. He started with just one little lie. Then another.
We can do the same thing to ourselves. We can tell ourselves that a little bit of pride won’t hurt anything. Or a little bit of criticism. Talking about a friend in a negative way or gossiping for just a quick minute.
The thing is, someone is always listening. Someone is always nearby and our little step off the path may lead the other person to take a giant step. Is that what Eve did for Adam? Did her mistake with the serpent cause Adam to make an even bigger one?
What we do, where we go, the paths we choose…isn’t someone watching? Our children, our grandchildren, a young christian? A lost neighbor? God?
Be careful little feet where you go….because those first steps could lead us to a disappointing destination.