Having Your Own Way

I will listen to what God will say; surely the Lord will … not let them go back to foolish ways.—Psalm 85:8

Although our divine Shepherd seeks to lead us in the paths that are right, often we are so stubborn and self-centered that we decline to follow. We prefer our own way even though it may lead us straight into trouble.

When challenged about this issue, many of us, of course, strongly deny it. Yet in actual fact, comparatively few of God’s people follow continually in His path. We say: “I want to do God’s will and be led by Him in all that I do”—and then promptly proceed to follow our own self-determined desires. We sing beautiful hymns and choruses that contain such words as: “The Lord knows the way through the wilderness, all I have to do is follow”—then take the path that we think is best.

This is an issue that we must come to grips with right now, for unless we learn how to give up our self-centeredness, we will fall into serious trouble—no matter how loving and concerned is our Shepherd. I recognize that this is a difficult issue for many Christians, for our civilization teaches us self-interest as the primary motivating force in life—”every man for himself and the Devil take the hindmost.” Actually if self-interest is primary, then the result is self-destruction, for the self-centered soon become the self-disrupted. They are making themselves God, and they are not God, so the universe won’t back their way of life.


Blessed Lord Jesus, You show me how to truly live—help me to live Your way. I want to abound, not drag leaden feet to dead tasks. Purge me of self and make me a committed follower of Your Way. For Your own name’s sake. Amen.

Further Study

Pr 14:12; Col 3; Gl 2:20; Rm 6:11

What was Paul’s confession?

List some characteristics of the unselfish life.

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