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Forsaking the Straight Road

Straight is one of those words that has evolved over time. When I was in Junior High School, this slang expression was often used to question a boy’s sexuality. As an adult trying to get a 75-year-old house ready to move into this summer, straight is the process of aligning, plumbing and squaring up your measurements. From a biblical perspective, straight coincides with following God’s commands, decrees, and precepts. Yet, free will gives each human being the choice to do what they want or feel is right.

Forsaking the straight road they have gone astray; they have followed the way of Balaam [the son] of Beor, who loved the reward of wickedness, 2 Peter 2:15.

The origin of straight dates back to the Old Testament when God gave Moses ten standards to live by in Exodus 20. While being questioned by the Pharisees in the first century, Jesus breaks the commandments into two separate categories, Matthew 22:34-40. The first four deal with loving God with all of your heart, soul and mind. The final four commandments focus on loving your neighbor as yourself. According to Peter, Balaam forsook the straight road by failing to love his neighbors.

Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. 14 But the gate is narrow (contracted [k]by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it, Matthew 7:13-14.

During one of his famous first century speeches, Jesus compares the straight road to a narrow path. Robert Frost alludes to this in his poem The Road Not Taken. Unfortunately, human nature and peer pressure persuade most people to proceed down the highway to hell. This decision doesn’t take much thought or sacrifice. However, when you start to feel empty inside, void of any meaning and purpose in life, enter the narrow way. The quicker you make a U-turn back to God, the more fulfilling your life will become on the road called Straight.

by Jay Mankus

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