Making a Decision about the Way

Let’s just think for a minute about what it means to choose a “way” in life. We often talk about the “way” we do something. We might talk about the right way to make a business deal, the right way to build a house, the right way to discipline a child, or the right way to a treat a person.  We recognize that there are many ways to do certain things. 

At a level deeper, we know there are many ways that people live their lives. There are many different conceptions of what the good life is all about, and the way we live reflects our understanding of what the good life is all about.

Every worldview or philosophy of life has a goal – an aim – which is directly related to what it defines as the good life. That worldview or philosophy of life then offers a pathway toward that end. That pathway is essentially a way of life that supports the goal of that worldview; it leads us to the good life promised by that philosophy of life. 

This helps us see that a “way” of living is not just about occasional decisions but about all of our life. We all live in a certain way, some more intentionally than others, but we all are ordering our lives to a certain end. 

The problem with the different ways of life is that not all of them are equally good and life-giving. In fact, some of them have severe consequences for our lives. Proverbs 14:12 tells us about that:

There is a way that appears to be right,
    but in the end it leads to death. (Proverbs 14:12)

So, the way in which we live leads us somewhere. Sometimes that way can be good and sometimes that way can be deadly.

It is within this context that it is important to hear again some particularly relevant words of Jesus on this point: 

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

The Gospel of Matthew presents Jesus as a Master Teacher, the new Moses, who tells us what the good life looks like and what it means to pursue that definition of the good life. 

Jesus offers a way – a pathway of life – that is full of truth and brings life, and which ultimately leads to God the Father.

And Jesus’ words emphasize for us how important it is that we must decide what way we will take in our lives. None of us can escape that decision. All of us must make some decision about the way we will take with our lives.

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