A Strait Is Not Straight

One of the myths concerning Christianity is that the way to God’s kingdom is both straight (s-t-r-a-i-g-h-t) and narrow.  Narrow, yes.  Straight, no.

Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter ye in at the strait (s-t-r-a-i-t) gate: for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are which go in thereat: because strait (s-t-r-a-i-t) is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth to eternal life, and few there be that find it.”  (KJV)

A strait is not straight.  Straits are among the most treacherous and demanding paths which a ship can follow.  The channel is narrow and hemmed in on both sides by wide ranges of rocks, shoals and sand bars.  Among the worst are the Straits of Magellan off the tip of South America.

When I used to travel from Mississippi to Illinois to visit my parents, I always took the same route which is a narrow strait (s-t-r-a-i-t) of asphalt called highways which curve to the left and right.  Following those curves and not veering off to the left or right got me there safely.

Once, I drew a line on a map to see what would happen if I had driven in a straight (s-t-r-a-i-g-h-t) line.  It would have taken me through woods, pastures, a lake or two and the Ohio River.  In that case, the straight and narrow would have meant my destruction, while the narrow, winding strait of highways got me there safely.

What prompted me to rethink the idea of the “straight and narrow” was Jeremiah 18:15.  “For My people have forsaken Me, they burn incense to worthless gods and they have stumbled from their ways, from the ancient paths, to walk on bypaths, not on a highway.”  (NASB)

Life would be simple if, like a horse, I could put on a set of blinders to block my view of everything to the right or left, set my eyes straight ahead and never veer off of the straight and narrow.

However, like almost all highways, the safe conclusion of my journey from where I am in this life to where my God wants me depends on constant vigilance and alertness.  I must watch not only the curves which He has built into the path mapped out for me, but also for the hazards and pitfalls life itself offers.

About kainosktisis

I am a sinner saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, and my life's greatest ambition is to follow Him for the rest of my life.
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1 Response to A Strait Is Not Straight

  1. ptl2010 says:

    Such an important topic – we need this reminder and as I looked for more I found this… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_hGBFVzYZ4

    It is not enough to have just started we need to pursue holiness.
    There is more to our faith than just entering the gate… we need more………to get there and not be side tracked. Thank you kainosktisis.

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