“If sinners entice you,” former procrastinators, do not consent.” (Proverbs 1:10) Do not step in their direction. We’re not pawns or puppets. We can say “no” to sin and “yes” to God’s way. This is a major premise of Proverbs and the pursuit of wisdom. Before proceeding, we should recognize that there are sinful paths to avoid.
Sinners will promise us “precious goods” (1:13) – or, in our case, procrastination promises some kind of relief or pleasure.
Don’t buy it. “Do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths.” (1:15)s
This passage refers to actual people who seek to draw someone into their schemes. The principle is this: Sin lures; we need to walk away. Turn from “their paths.” Do not step in their direction.
Sin has a path. Scripture often refers to this. How do we recognize it? What are its characteristics? We need to know so we avoid choosing an evil path. Being a believer doesn’t prevent us from wrong choices. It enables us to make wise choices by the insight and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.
This warning is to stay off the path of sin, not to avoid the end result. We are to avoid the end result; but God is so good, He warns us to stay off the path that takes us there. The path itself is a problem.
We rarely “fall into sin.” It’s not like we’re walking a good road and suddenly a giant hole opens under our feet and we tumble into a black abyss. No, it’s a step- by-step entanglement. Scripture speaks of the path of sin. Not the path to sin. It is a route to sin, but the route itself is sinful. It involves sinful steps that take a person deeper into sin.
A path in the woods shows that footsteps before us have smoothed a way we can use. It’s easier to walk on that path than it is to go another way. Indeed, many have taken the path of evil and “smoothed” that way for us. But where did they end up? Where will we end up if we take that path?
Remember “Direction, not intention, determines destination.” It doesn’t matter what I intend or want to be, it doesn’t matter how in control I think I am, if I direct my steps on the path of sin, that’s where I’ll end up. Those are the steps I’m taking.
“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” (Proverbs 4:25-27)