Walk Your Own Righteous Path

Yael Eckstein  |  June 21, 2024

Desert road

Whoever fears the LORD walks uprightly,
    but those who despise him are devious in their ways.
— Proverbs 14:2

We continue with devotional thoughts from the Book of Proverbs every Friday. One of the 11 books in the Torah known as the Ketuvim, Hebrew for “writings,” Proverbs is part of the “wisdom tradition,” which also includes Job and Ecclesiastes.

Although I’ve never met him, I’ve heard of Jerusalem’s “Disco Rabbi.” He’s called that because late at night, this long-bearded, holy-looking man goes from bar to bar in Jerusalem looking for lost souls. He has a knack with working with youth, and he has successfully pulled countless young men and women from the streets and introduced them to God.

To a bystander, watching this pious-looking man make his way to places filled with debauchery must appear pretty bad. But God knows that this man is using his gifts and walking a righteous path that no one else can travel.

In Proverbs we read, “Whoever fears the LORD walks uprightly.” When we translate the verse literally from the original Hebrew, it reads, “Whoever fears the Lord walks in his own righteousness.” This means that what is a righteous path for one person is not necessarily the right path for another person. Those who fear God will follow their own righteous path, irrespective of the paths that other people follow.

Walk Your Own Righteous Path

According to the Jewish sages, sometimes a person may choose to follow a path that looks bad to other people—like the Disco Rabbi who spends his nights in bars—but appears righteous in the eyes of God. And sometimes a person may appear to choose a path that looks righteous to other people, but in reality, is not doing what he or she has been called to do and therefore, that path does not appear righteous to God. The only path we should ever consider is the one that God intended for us.

God could have made us all the same, but He intentionally chose to make us different and He wants each of us to serve Him in the unique way that only we can. We need to find “our own righteousness”—the right path for us, regardless of what anyone else thinks and what everyone else is doing.

Too often, people make their most important life decisions based on other people’s opinions. But the only opinion that really matters when it comes to how we live our lives is God’s opinion. Only the path that He calls us to is the right path—the one that will lead us to righteousness and blessing.

Your Turn:

What path do you believe God has called you to follow?