22nd June 2011

I Did It My Way

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

The funeral ceremony was over and the mourners were filing out of the chapel. Suddenly Frank Sinatra’s distinctive voice rang out singing I Did It My Way. Some of the mourners found it poignant, but I have to confess that the lyrics gave me food for thought:
            ‘And now the end is near;
            I’ve lived a life that’s full,
            And so I face the final curtain.
            I travelled each and every highway.
            My friend I’ll say it clear
            And more, much more than this
            I’ll state my case of which I’m certain:
            I did it my way!’

The departed person was certainly making a point about how he had lived his life; indeed the song was reflective and peppered with honest observations on his human frailty. The song concludes ‘Yes… I did it my way’. Without intending disrespect I thought to myself, “well my friend, you may have done it your way, but you have still landed up in a box without any hope for the future!”

What does God say about us doing it our way? What is wrong with man’s way? Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” God is clear on the subject, He separates Himself from man’s ways. Isaiah 55:8 tells us, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.”

When left to our own devices we are on the path to our own destruction—a life without God is meaningless and has no future. Driven by selfish desires and self-preservation, we move further and further away from God. How blind we are to declare how we ‘did it our way’ when referring to how we lived our life and yet still land up dead with no hope or future apart from God’s Way.

Jesus tells us to follow Him in Matthew 9:9, because He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). His way leads us to eternal life and joy in abundance. Read John 10:10: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” This is the more excellent way that the apostle Paul writes of in 1 Corinthians12:31 and he goes on to tell of this way in 1 Corinthians 13:1-8: “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” God’s way is the way of love—let’s do it His way!

Loving Father, forgive us our foolish ways. We are often headstrong and move away from you, yet you are there waiting on our return. Your love for us is unfailing. As we walk this more excellent way, we praise you for your perfection.

Study by Irene Wilson

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