To Walk Confidently: Proverbs 10:1-22, especially vs. 10: “He who walks in sincerity walks confidently, but he who perverts his ways will be known.” At every Orthros and Vespers service, we are reminded by Psalm 142:10 to consider “the way wherein I should walk.” This recurring verse prompts us to examine our manner of living from the inside out, to scrutinize how we walk through life. In Proverbs Christ our Wisdom shows us how to walk confidently (vs. 10), for as He says, “I am the way” (Jn 14:6). How personal and gracious we find His offer to us!
Life is a “walk” because it does not stand still; we are borne along in time. God is mainly concerned with how we walk along this temporal journey. By His grace, we hope to walk “in sincerity” before Him; we struggle to live with integrity. That is the Lord’s point. In order to walk with integrity, we must focus on Christ within us, who unifies our life at home, at work, at church, and in all our associations. Truly, an integrated person is at one with himself because of his relationship with Christ our God.
Those who walk with integrity before God fulfill the admonition of Saint Euphrosyne, mother of Saint Clement of Ancyra: “Do me honor, my son, and stand for Christ as a man and confess Him with strength and steadfastness” (Prologue From Ochrid vol. 1, p. 94). People of godly integration walk through everything in life – even pain, defeat, rejection, loss, and death – with an equanimity received from above.
The second half of verse 10 parallels the first part, but negatively. Literally, it means that if we pervert our way it will become known, evident, apparent. We do not need much contact with someone to discern whether or not he has godly integrity. Our inner life, our relation to self and God, inevitably manifests itself to others. This applies both to those who walk in the way of Christ and to those who turn away from Him.
As we review the entire selection of verses, we see how godly integration affects every facet of daily life and activity. For example, when a child becomes an adult and walks with godly integrity, the parents are glad. The same cannot be said of God-fearing parents who watch a child turn aside from the truth (vs. 1). Deep pain grieves the heart of any parent who sees his or her children stray.
Nor does it matter how much wealth, status, or influence we garner, if our own heart is not set on God. These earthly treasures will not provide us with satisfaction (vs. 2). The righteous man, by laboring to keep his relationship with God central, delivers his soul from spiritual death and joyfully accepts whatever God allows to come into his life.
In human affairs God is the unseen and foremost actor, feeding those who love Him and overthrowing the schemes of those who do not (vss. 6-7). A person of real integrity labors, prospers, and takes instruction well (vs. 8-9). He tends to rise to positions of responsibility and to “enrich others” who benefit from his industry (vs. 4).
Personal relationships are blessed for those who possess integrity (vss. 10-12). The upright are direct and without deceit: they enhance others as peacemakers and their speech is straightforward (vss. 13-21). May God enable us to love Him and our neighbor with all our mind, our soul, and our strength (see Dt 6:5). Pray to God to forgive us our sins when we turn away from Him, restoring to us the grace to walk in sincerity and confidence before Him, doing His will in all things.
Lord, I have fled unto Thee: teach me to do Thy will, for Thou art my God. For with Thee is the fountain of life: in Thy light shall I see light. O continue Thy mercy unto me. – Great Doxology