Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
Those words are repeated in Proverbs for a reason. When a man thinks he is right he may be wrong. He may be so wrong the results are devastating. It is possible his certainty will blind him and will never know how wrong he is until the consequence hits. Then it is too late. The words of Proverbs are a repeated warning. Do not trust yourself to figure out what you cannot possibly know on your own. Of course, this has to do with moral and righteous decisions and obedience to God. Maybe, on occasion, we can get something right, but we should never trust what seems right simply because it has the merit of seeming right. O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps (Jeremiah 10:23).
We do not have to live as slaves to our own guesses, confidence, feelings or what seems right. Those things cannot determine wisdom or whether something is good. Belief that a certain deed is the right thing to do is nothing more than an opinion. Belief cannot alter an action from evil to good. This does not change regardless of how many people think it that way. How would that work? An action is morally questionable until ten or more people believe it is good, then it must be good. Popular agreement or opinion never made any moral action right or wrong. If it was the right action, then consensus or faith did not make it that way. If it was right, it was always right. If it was wrong, it was always wrong. Feelings, motives and popularity never change the outcome of a moral action. The result of the deed is set regardless of sentiment behind the deed. The result (the end) may be the way of death.
Assumptions and traditions of men may come down to us from the past. These were accepted and popularized because they appeared right. People become comfortable with the “experts” because they seemed to know what they were doing. The “experts” can be comfortable in themselves but wrong even when everyone thinks they are right. The error is handed down as new generations accept what was never proven true. It is a common trap. Someone said something, we hear it, and accepted it as truth. Why? Did anyone actually check? What made the “experts” right? We just presumed they were because it sounded plausible and they sounded confident.
Moral decisions are not things you want to test by putting them into action to see what happens. You will end up with irreparable consequences for yourself and those around you will not escape the fallout. To test them large-scale on a population is disastrous. Playing with human lives is always wicked. Many things are destroyed by moral decisions from the ignorant and uniformed who think they know best which is the path of foolishness. You must have a guide to know what you should and should not be doing. We need a standard based on something real. No one can give us anything real except God. He alone is capable. We can have full confidence in Him. But even then, some having found the truth reject it. It is not the answer they wanted.
In Mark 10:17 Jesus is asked a question. It is from a man who asks the right person the right question. You cannot trust anyone to answer this question. The answer you take affects your whole existence from this life into eternity. Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” The rich young ruler knows the answer he receives will be from God. He shows respect. He shows a degree of faith to come to Christ. With all that he still does not like the answer. But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions (Mark 10:22). This man rewrites Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems wrong to a man, But its end is the way of life.
God has given us all we need. Because of Him we can know what is actually true. Our confidence, our feelings, our thoughts and our desires may, in fact, lead to our downfall. The ways of God never do. Here too we find God is no respecter of persons. The “experts” cannot know any more than what is offered to the rest of us. Everyone has the same source. There is no knowledge or wisdom hidden from most and given to a select few. It is for everyone who will learn and follow. Common men can read the book of Matthew just like the great and astute. People may hide from it or ignore it, but God’s word is still here for all to see, it works as it always has and is perfect for our future life on earth. God’s wisdom is not based on assumptions or hopeful theories, but omniscience. He gives to us everything we need for life on this earth. We lack nothing. There is no guess work on the important things.