He who leads the upright along and evil path will fall into his own trap, but the blameless will receive a good inheritance. Proverbs 28, verse 10.
I ask a favor of you: please just accept that this verse is true. Don’t over-analyze it: just accept it at face value. Do this because God made it so, for yourself, not because I say so. Do it because it’s simply true.
In my forty-five years, I’ve been both the leader of the upright along that evil path and the upright man who was led there. I have made friends and gotten close with people I shouldn’t have, and I have led astray other good people who didn’t deserve it. In the times when I led others astray, it never went well. At the very least, I felt miserable and guilty for what I’d done; at most, my actions brought emotional and even physical wreckage on me and the people I love most. In the times when I let myself be led astray, I felt fortunate when I was able to break free of their toxicity, and I feel rewarded to have benefitted and lived a good life that my other actions clearly showed I didn’t deserve.
Wanna know something? We are all like that from time to time. We have each been both leader and led, sinner and saint. It’s part of our condition and on our own, it’s incurable. I’m a firm believer in self-improvement but it didn’t take me long in life to realize that no person is truly, one hundred percent independent. You can’t improve yourself without the support and assistance from others. Even self-made people have rarely-acknowledged support systems that allow them to make the most of their choices and rise on the fruit of their talents. Nobody truly ‘does it’ all on their own. We weren’t made to. We are never fully on our own. God is always there even when no other person is.
Wanna know something more? We can each be blameless. That’s a fruit of Christianity, you see. It doesn’t happen on our own. You are made blameless by believing that Christ took all your blame away. Even if you spend an entire life living in depravity, when God puts His Spirit to work in you, your blame is taken away. You may indeed still face the earthly consequences of your actions, but the eternal, spiritual, supernatural consequences of them are erased and you can stand before God Almighty blameless. Period. You didn’t do it on your own: it was done for you out of love. You’re blameless and you can walk away from leading yourself and others down the pathways of evil.
The simple truth of being made blameless makes this verse even more powerful. He who leads the upright along and evil path will fall into his own trap, but those made blameless will receive a good inheritance: It says “will” not “ought to” or “might” or “deserve.” It says WILL RECEIVE. It’s a guarantee. My personal belief, too, is that being made spiritually blameless quickly affects your physical life as well. I know of countless people whose lives became more relaxed, more tranquil, more empowered and full of peace because they didn’t have to tote around anymore the subconscious guilt of the things they had done. They knew they didn’t have to worry about what could happen any longer. Even when the worries of the world or new sins pop up, such people take to letting their lives be changed by this simple, all-powerful truth, and it becomes like a shield to ward off those troubles. Resistance and overcoming become not only possible, but preferable, to simply getting by with the compromise of character. That changes your life in other, better ways.
I’m one of those people. I’ve been the despicable man who led good people into sins they might not have otherwise done, and I’ve become one of the other kind of man, sometimes led astray but still made blameless by someone who cared enough about me to pour out His own blood and die. The older I get, the easier it becomes to see how I only want to be the latter kind. The former can simply be who I used to be. That amazing truth is something I now accept simply at face value, just because it is. It needs no other proof or mortal justification. It just is.
It just is because He just is. After all, when Moses asked God what was His name, God responded “I AM that I AM. Tell them I AM sent you.” He just is; He is just I AM.
Truth is truth whether we embellish it or not, but the truth doesn’t need your embellishment or mine to make it more true. That’s why it’s reliable and it’s why it’s true, what we can all fall back on no matter what. Embracing it shows us the errors of our ways, then how to repent and turn from them. I pray that you cling to His truth today and that, if you’re leading an upright someone along some primrose path, you’ll turn around and walk the other way. I pray that, if you’re being led down that path, you’ll see where you’re headed, and turn your lead around to go the other way. Wherever you are, I’ll just pray for you there. When prayed in Him, those prayers become living, breathing, active vessels of action going to work to better someone’s life. That’s just the way it is too.