The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight, but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires. (Proverbs 11:5, 6 NIV)
A game I came across when I was a lot younger was Snakes and Ladders. I believe the game goes by different names in different places, but the concept is the same. Set number of squares in a grid and the idea is to progress through them to the the end yet certain squares have a snake or a ladder located. Land on a snake head and you plummet down. Land on the bottom rung of a ladder and you climb up a level immediately.
Life sometimes is like a twisted game of Snakes and Ladders. What makes it twisted is that our decisions and choices, our inclinations and desires themselves determine if the steps we take will be on snakes heads or on the rung of a ladder.
A number of the Proverbs in the chapter 11 contrast the choices and outcomes of righteous people with the same for those who are wicked. The first group don’t rely on themselves, they rely on a standard of goodness and right that’s been laid out for them. As a result they are rescued from tough situations and even in the middle of trying circumstances they can maintain their stand because of their integrity.
Meanwhile it’s clear that the second group have a completely different agenda. Their planning and scheming for their advancement at the cost of others and their satisfaction at the demise of others actually sets up their own downfall. That commitment to themselves wounds up destroying themselves, which should be a cautionary tale to folks who are selfish and not considerate of the needs of others. It should act as a cautionary tale, but often does not, because the image of success and progress for some involves the dehumanising of others for the sake of business, or to reach the top, or to be the best in whatever you pursue.
This only goes to reinforce the importance of seeking wisdom where we will enjoy the pursuit of the good, right, the true and the pure that will benefit others as well as ourselves.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden