April 20th

Avoiding Evil

A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, The naive proceed and pay the penalty. Proverbs 27:12 NASB 

Our initial response upon recognition of evil can often make the difference between falling to a temptation or overcoming it.  This proverb instructs us to hide ourselves from evil when we see it.  This can mean different things depending on the situation.  The Holy Spirit will show us the way to hide ourselves in the particular situation we may be facing.  The scripture says, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV).  God will provide a way out of whatever we are facing.  We have to be willing to look for it and not give up and give in to the temptation.  

Here are some practical examples of what God might lead us to do in tempting situations. If we notice a magazine rack featuring adult titles, we can look the other direction and keep walking.  If our email account has been receiving adult solicitation junk mail, we can get a filter and/or changing to a filtered provider.  If our attractive, married co-worker is hitting on us, we can avoid “hanging around” with him or her except for business necessity.  If our friends are prone to boasting about their weekend sexual exploits during Monday’s lunch hour, we can leave the table, or change the subject or get new friends.  There are perhaps countless other examples we could come up with. The idea is to hide/shelter/protect our minds from the input of evil that could cause us to start entertaining sinful thoughts.  The two main inlet points to our minds are our eyes and ears, so our evasive actions will usually involve blocking those pathways.  

If we see evil yet continue on ahead into it we will pay a penalty.  I can remember many times during my porn addiction when I knew I would be driving by that food mart that sold porn magazines, or when I would be alone at home, free to browse through the porn sites on the internet.  I usually chose to go ahead and sin.  The price I paid included an increasingly sexualized thought life, a growing bondage to masturbation, a damaged marriage sex life and a growing separation from God.  The momentary pleasure of sex addiction was not worth the penalty! 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer: 

“Father in heaven, my eyes are fixed on you.  O Sovereign Lord, in you I take refuge. Please keep me from the snares of temptation and the traps of sin I may encounter today.  Lord, please forgive me for ignoring your warnings in the past and running headlong into sin.  Please sharpen my conviction to heed the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  Please help me see the way out of every temptation I face today.  I will choose rightly in Jesus’ name. Thank you, Father! Amen.”