We come across the saying, “strait and narrow” or also seen today as “straight and narrow”.
Have you ever wondered where the phrase comes from?
Matthew 7:14 is the answer: “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which. leads to life.”
Whether we embrace a particular faith or religion, or whether we believe in God or the universe, in energy or humanity, we are all on a journey and, hopefully, that journey should be one of metanoia (“U” turns for the Christian), jihad (inner struggles and inner victories for the Muslim), Nirvana (Buddhism), Gita (Hindu paths) or ethical living (humanist).
Irrespective of our starting point, the waymarks all point to the same perennial destination however we define or perceive it.
Please do not mistake the wood for the trees by this paragraph and dismiss the rest of the piece as a partisan post. It is a think piece about our moral compass that helps us navigate the journey of life. The Times of Malta in the last 24 hrs carried at least 3 news pieces and an editorial regarding the alleged mastermind behind the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia funding the defense of the alleged assassins and of (sitting and resigned) members of cabinet potential involvement in this and other crimes, businessmen involvement with the government on national projects and an Ombudsman report highlighting allegedly systematic failures at (ex)Commissioner level within the Police Corps. Some might tell me not to mention such events because it hurts our reputation. Conversely, one can highlight H.E. the President’s stand, grounded in personal moral conviction and principles, that he would rather walk out from office than signing an abortion bill (quote: “I cannot stop the executive from deciding, that is up to Parliament. But I do have the liberty, if I don’t agree with a bill, to resign and go home, I have no problem doing this.” )
We sometimes worry too much about reputation, but the reality is that it is all ultimately about the individual; It is the sum total of the individual characters that culminates in the ‘collective character‘ weaving society and spinning its actions.
Reputation is about how we project ourselves to be seen or about how others perceive us to be. It is not us.
Our character is who we are.
If integrity is not within the very fabric of our character and if our internal moral compass is so mired with infinite shades of grey that it cannot always and unequivocally distinguish black from white, then we lack good character no matter how we hold out ourselves to be in the eyes of others.
And if this is the case, someday, somewhere, somehow along the road, the truth has a way of catching up with us. But let not that be the reason why we should practice righteousness (Gal 6:7).
Be good and do good because it should define who you are regardless of how others perceive you. Never weary of doing good. Always strive to do what is good. (Gal 6:9 | 1 Thes 5:15) regardless.
Because life is a journey .. walk always and everywhere on the “strait and narrow” because it is the path that leads to life.