Friday, June 21, 2013

Relational Ethics

“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” —Proverbs 16:25

What way “appears to be right?” If we are going to understand what this means and how to avoid it then we had better avoid the temptation to jump to conclusions about this. On the surface, the meaning seems obvious. The patterns of sin lead to death. But the Proverbs were not written to pagans who were steeped in sin. The Israelites knew about sin and how sin leads to death. God spoke through the laws and the prophets to make sure that his people understood this. They knew the difference between right and wrong.

Breaking the law does not appear to be right.

So what might this mean? Let me suggest that it means something like this: Doing what is right because it is right leads to death. It’s a masked death, one that looks good on the outside, but it eats us up from the inside out.

God is seeking covenant partners who will enter into loving relationship with him, not robotic rule followers. Following the rules is not the same thing as following Jesus. Taking up our cross and following Jesus is about relationship and through this experience, we are transformed from the inside out.

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