If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then you are expected to avoid evil. Jesus came to expose the works of darkness and destroy them. You have the same power and authority to do this as well. You also have the conviction of the Holy Spirit in you to guide you into all truth.
Many of us are good at avoiding negative emotions and relationships that test us in the area of pride or rejection. But how good are we at recognizing evil alliances and avoiding them?
To avoid something is to shun it, turn aside from that course, and choose another. Avoidance is also not engaging. Christians are to affirm those who have believed in God and be careful to maintain good works because these are profitable to men (Tit 3:8). The Bible tells us to avoid the following.
· Avoid divisions and offenses (Rom 16:17).
· Avoid doctrine contrary to the truth (Rom 16:17).
· Avoid foolish and ignorant disputes that cause strife (2Ti 2:23; Tit 3:9)
· Avoid foolish questions (Tit 3:9).
· Avoid genealogies (record of descent) (Tit 3:9).
· Avoid contentions and strife about the law (Tit 3:9).
· Avoid heretics that refuse to be corrected (Tit 3:10).
We are to align with God’s people and His will and come out from among those who live sinful and evil lives. Alliance with any of these conversations and behaviors will cause us to become contaminated. There are many more things we have to avoid but I want to pinpoint the things we must avoid in conversation.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is not strife, gossip, divisions, and chaos. The fruit of the Spirit is peace, joy, and righteousness, among other things. We are to be people living in peace, as much as it is up to us, with all people, even more so the brethren in Christ Jesus.
Today the spirit of jealousy and competition is on the rise between brothers and sisters in Christ. The quest to have more followers, likes, and views on social media can get overwhelming for those who strive to build their vision. The minute any believer loses focus on God’s vision, dream, and purpose for their lives, the flesh has a way of taking over.
Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. 2Ti 1:14 NIV We do this by avoiding anything that even appears evil.
See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. - 1Th 5:15 NKJV
Paul continued his exhortation, saying,
· Rejoice all the time.
· Do not cease praying.
· Be thankful for everything. He said this was God’s will for us to live this way.
· Don’t quench the Spirit.
· Do not despise prophecies.
· Test all things.
· Hold fast to what is good.
· Abstain – stay away from every form of evil!
The King James Version reads, Abstain from all appearance of evil. - 1 Thess 5:22
The Holy Spirit is the restrainer, and He enables us to control ourselves when we want to act out of evil. He helps us to bless and not curse, forgive and not hold a grudge, hold our tongue when we want to lash out, and He gives us the faith to hold firm to the future promises of God if we remain righteous in thought and deed.
Heavenly Father, I acknowledge Your truth that commands me to stay away from even the appearance of evil. I can only do this when I am living according to Your will and doing life Your way. I repent for every time I have gone astray from Your command to be holy and allowed myself to be caught up in vain disputes over anything. I ask for the Helper to quicken my spirit when I am about to engage in anything that even looks evil. Keep my tongue from speaking lies or deceit as I submit my will and emotions to You, my Lord and Master. In Jesus’ name, Amen