20 Thus you will walk in the ways of the good
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
It is not willpower that will save you from “the ways of wicked men” (v.12) and “the adulterous woman” (v.16). A person may be preoccupied with avoiding the wrong path, but that does not put them on the right one. There is often great tension between commitment and desire, which tends to break towards desire, as we fall back into the behaviors we tried with willpower to overcome. But this tension is diminished by wisdom, which reveals to us the deceit in every temptation. It is not by extraordinary self-discipline that the wise person keeps the path of righteousness – but by the realization that no other path is worth taking.