There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Prov 14:12
Seemingly this verse alludes to a counter intuitive truth. Man thinks he knows what is right and true but in that thinking he is deluded. The question remains as to what is it that man believes to be true which is not, in fact, true?
One answer to that question is that man thinks happiness and fulfillment is achieved by doing his own thing and ignoring and violating the legal requirements of God. This is the traditional understanding in which man assumes that he and God in combination must resist the allied forces of evil in the world and thereby achieve personal righteousness and bring about the fulfillment of God’s plan and purpose for mankind. In this view man’s identity before God is an achievement and depends on what each individual does to claim his or her divine status. Since this interpretation of man’s relationship with God has been almost universally accepted in all generations, it hardly qualifies as counter intuitive.
In order to be both true and counter intuitive, the truth alluded to in Proverbs 14:12 cannot logically be as seemingly natural as that projected in this traditional understanding- do what God demands or else; diligently resist evil in others. Perhaps a more nuanced understanding would involve seeing how man views himself in God’s estimation and how that affects man’s mode of living. Instead of the death referred to resulting from disobedience to God’s legal requirements, this death comes about because of man’s misconception of his own worthiness and the resulting negative impact on his behavior. Death dealing activities happen, not because of willful disregard for God’s law, but rather from trying to gain an identity by achievement which is already assured by birthright. Instead of trying to transform ourselves and others by recrimination and ostracism, we are called to change the world through the power of love. Now that is about as counter intuitive as it gets and thoroughly in accordance with the instructions and example of Jesus.