13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
Verse 13 is a quote from Proverbs 4:26 (LXX).
13 and make straight paths for your feet,
The believer’s walk needs to go in the right direction. It is important not to stray off course. If we stray, then we open ourselves to divine discipline (Prov 4:25–27). Christians should not allow distractions to put them off the path of God’s will. Every Christian must keep the direction of where he heads clearly in view. Otherwise, he can go off path into asides that may distract his walk with God. The goal is to become like Jesus in walking with God (He 12:1–2).
“Paths” refers to tracks left by wheels of a cart. Travelers followed the path of these carts. “Straight paths” means that Christian conduct is to be straightforward. Discouragement will foster defeat and wrong direction in the believer’s life.
If the Christian makes his paths straight, then there will be a result. Disregard of dealing with discouragement leads others astray. The influence of other Christians on us is direct and continuous.
what is lame may not be dislocated,
A “lame” believer is the discouraged and defeated Christian who misses the direction God laid out for him or her. A “lame” Christian is someone who has difficulty in running the race. He has lost his capacity to run with the Lord. He is in the race but has difficulty competing.
A “lame” believer is a needy person. He does not minister to others but needs ministering. He is disheartened and discouraged. How the believer reacts to discouragement influences other Christians. Maintaining the courage of one believer strengthens another.
but rather be healed [made whole]
The believer who finds the right direction for his or her life will experience spiritual healing. The Greek word “heal” is to correct that which has gone wrong. The healing here is to a dynamic faith that shows itself through spiritual tenacity in walking with the Lord. Defeated Christians can resolve their discouragement by the example of courageous Christians.
Biblical teaching with exhortation is an inseparable tandem.
It is not enough to grasp truth; it is crucial to apply it to experience (He 13:22). We are not only to believe it but to experience it. We cannot separate teaching and exhortation. If we do, we violate our persons and stunt our growth. Teaching that does not rest on faithful exposition of Scripture is also a problem; however, we cannot separate faithful study from faithful application. Above all, we must live under the authority of God through the Word of God.
The believer must go straight to the goal. The Holy Spirit stated the goal in Hebrews 12:2. Jesus is our supreme example of reaching the goal by endurance. Nothing should make us stray from the course God has set before us.
Those who are submitted to the providence of God are best able to help others in their pain.