Proverbs 14:2

ESV Whoever walks in uprightness fears the LORD, but he who is devious in his ways despises him.
NIV Whoever fears the LORD walks uprightly, but those who despise him are devious in their ways.
NASB One who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, But one who is devious in his ways despises Him.
CSB Whoever lives with integrity fears the Lord, but the one who is devious in his ways despises him.
NLT Those who follow the right path fear the Lord; those who take the wrong path despise him.
KJV He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.

What does Proverbs 14:2 mean?

Scripture makes it clear that ultimate truth—including that which is good—comes from an understanding of God (Proverbs 1:7). This leads to a relatively simple explanation of what leads to good or evil conduct. An upright person follows a path of righteousness and fears the Lord. A devious person follows a path of sin and despises the Lord. The term translated "uprightness" is also seen in Proverbs 2:13 and Proverbs 4:11 and implies something "straight" or honest. In contrast, the term rendered "devious" means something "lost, perverted, or deviant," and is seen in Proverbs 2:15 and Proverbs 3:32.

A person's lifestyle shows whether he is sincerely seeking good, loving the Lord, or is unrighteous and ignores God (John 14:15). Jesus made this distinction clear. He said, "So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit" (Matthew 7:17–18). While we need to be careful not to judge others unfairly (John 7:24; 1 Samuel 16:7), a person's life eventually reveals whether they are righteous or unrighteous. "Thus you will recognize [false prophets] by their fruits" (Matthew 7:20). If a person reverences the Lord, he will despise sin; but if he despises the Lord, he will love sin. There is no middle ground.
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