Back where I came from in Tennessee, the highest elevation in our county was Short Mountain. Although it was only about 2,200 feet, it was still a pretty steep Tennessee foothill. For fun, my friends and I often used to drive around the north side of Short Mountain. The condition of the road was rough, with very steep drop-offs on one side. One could, with very little effort, go off the side of the mountain and wreck, with possibly fatal consequences. It reminds me of Matthew 7:13-14: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
The “straight” or narrow gate is clearly restrictive and does not permit entrance to what Jesus prohibits. The “broad” or wide gate seems far more inviting. The “broad” road is spacious and accommodates the crowd; the other road is “narrow” and restricting because it is the way of opposition and persecution. Simply, you cannot remain in a narrow way, if you live like those in a broadway. Expect not to fall! Paul wrote, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:24). The practical ramifications of traveling the “strait” ways mean that I am going to examine everything and hold to what is righteous (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
Instead of righteousness being restrictive, the spiritually-minded person will see the joy in refraining from sin (Romans 8:6-8). In reality, the “strait” way is not “straight” at all! It is only restricting to the person whose mind has not turned to God.