Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—Robert Frost
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
While Robert Frost (if you read the rest of his poem) sighed over not taking the other road, Solomon, in Proverbs four, says there is a road that you should never travel.
Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of the evil. Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on.Proverbs 4:14-15
Notice how many prohibitions Solomon gives. Do not enter. Do not walk. Avoid. Do not go. Turn away. Pass on. It could not be clearer. The old saying, “sow your wild oats” is stupid. It assumes no consequences for your behavior. If you enter into adulthood having never traveled down the road “more traveled” you have not missed anything. Solomon continues.
For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong; they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.Proverbs 4:16
Wicked people are never satisfied being wicked alone. They must take someone else with them. They know nothing other than to involve an innocent bystander in their wickedness. They gossip in groups. They steal in gangs. They slander in twos and threes. They cheat in tandem.
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. The way of the wicked is like deep darkness, they do not know over what they stumble.Proverbs 4:18-19
Someone has said, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” Solomon paints a picture of the future for the wicked and the righteous, the perverse and the penitent, the sinner and the saint. For the child of God, light gives way to light. The days get brighter and brighter. And one day, O what a day that will be, there will be the Son whose radiance is such that the blazing ball of fire we call the sun will not be needed. There will be no night in that city called Heaven. No locks on doors. No security systems. No lying. No cheating. No worrying. No fear. Light. Rest. Glory.
For the wicked, the wanton, the wayward. For the deceptive, destructive, the divisive. Darkness. Deep darkness. They do not know over what they stumble. Devastation. Destruction.
So what must you do. How do you take “the road less traveled” and not sigh about the road more traveled. Proverbs 4:23 gives clear instruction.
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.Proverbs 4:23-24
Guard your heart. Lose “friends” who are not friends at all. Treat your heart like the source of water, the only source for your life. If it gets dirty, everything else will be dirty. Springs provide fresh water for thirsty people. If the spring is dirty, the water supply below it is dirty. All of it. You cannot have a dirty spring and fresh water at the same time. And how do you know if your heart is dirty? Listen to your mouth. Read your texts. Review your Facebook posts. If they are angry, you have an angry heart. If they are bitter, the springs are bitter. If they are sensual, you have a desensitized heart. Jesus said, “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”
I would rather travel the road less traveled with a few good (and godly friends), than the highway to nowhere with the throngs.