(This image was created in Adobe Illustrator using just one path.)
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men,
from men whose words are perverse,
who have left the straight paths
to walk in dark ways,
who delight in doing wrong
and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,
whose paths are crooked
and who are devious in their ways.
(Proverbs 2:6, 12-15 NIV)
We live in a society full of paths, but little peace. Self-help books line the aisles of our favorite bookstores offering practical steps to happiness. And a visit to the religions section offers a plethora of options promising to conjure up a better life. To make matters more confusing, we have family and friends who share advice, which doesn’t always help. So whether it’s self-help books, religions, or personal advice, we often struggle to navigate the best path to a peaceful life.
Some of us turn to the news for answers. We download our favorite apps and read articles discussing “how to do this” and “why such and such is so.” But sometimes what we read in print doesn’t match reality. News sound bites don’t address the underlying root of our problems.
So we turn to our fallback: Google. The world’s most power search engine will list the right results we need, right? And with so many kilobytes, megabytes, and terabytes ready for download, we should certainly find a fix to our moral dilemmas. While googling, we hope personal peace is just one click away.
Tragically, the Bible says our world will only get worse. We will hear of wars and rumors of wars. Nation will rise against nation. Our earth is rebelling against its Creator. In the end, peace will not come to pass until the Prince of Peace returns.
So don’t believe what “they” say—that all spiritual paths lead to heaven. That each religion serves the same God. That we have different spiritual options to choose from. If all religions are valid and noble, then why is there still moral chaos? Why do we sometimes hurt our neighbors, loved ones, or even ourselves!
May I suggest our lack of peace stems from the fact we have too many religions. There are too many so-called spiritual paths. Too many lying and deceitful religions begging for our time, money, and affirmation. Our problem derives from the religious fragmentation, which our ancestor Adam introduced long ago.
Before his rebellion, Adam had only one spiritual path to walk in the cool of the day with God. This pathway was the way, truth, and life. But after eating the forbidden apple, Adam introduced moral decay into his body, his children, and every creature in the earth.
To make matters worse, Adam’s sin introduced moral decay into us too. We are not immune to moral depravity. Ever lie, cheat, or steal? We all have. It’s part of our sin nature DNA. It’s what we inherited from grandpa Adam. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, right?
So no, we don’t need more religious paths. We need just One. And all paths don’t lead heavenward. Only One does. His name is Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
And what our Prince of Peace secured on the cross for those who believe in Him is peace between us and the Father. And when we follow His pathway, we guard against anxiety through rejoicing and thanking Him for what He’s done for us and praying to Him when we encounter problems along the way. Only His way provides true peace, which transcends all understanding.