A New Think on These Things from John Gray
GRANDPA SAYS – “THINK ON THESE THINGS”: Even the appearance of evil gives Satan an opportunity.”
“IN EACH OF US, TWO NATURES ARE AT WAR – THE GOOD AND THE EVIL. ALL OUR LIVES THE FIGHT GOES ON BETWEEN THEM, AND ONE OF THEM MUST CONQUER. BUT, WITHIN OUR HANDS LIES THE POWER OF CHOICE – WHAT WE WANT MOST TO BE – WE WILL BECOME.”
“abstain from every form of evil.” (1Th 5:22)
“neither give place [opportunity] to the devil.” (Eph 4:27)
Folks, there will always be someone who thinks that something you are doing is wrong, or that it looks wrong to them. Paul wrote --- "Just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts" (1Th 2:4). Folks, our goal is to live righteously before God - not to please others --- “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to the weak.” (1Co 8:9). Keeping this in mind, we know that when Paul told us to “Abstain from all appearance of evil,” he was strongly urging you and me to put distance between ourselves and any appearance of evil, i.e., put great distance between ourselves and suspicious-looking situations.
Christians must be willing to sacrifice a liberty or suffer a wrong for the sake of a soul --- “For it is better, if the will of God should so will, that ye suffer for well-doing than for evil-doing.” (1Pe 3:17). | “Nay, already it is altogether a defect in you, that ye have lawsuits one with another. Why not rather take wrong? why not rather be defrauded?” (1Co 6:7). | “Wherefore, if meat causeth my brother to stumble, I will eat no flesh for evermore, that I cause not my brother to stumble.” (1Co 8:13).
To avoid the appearance of evil, or every form of evil, means to stay far away from evil. We need not become legalistic about what others may perceive to be evil, but we do need to remain aware of our witness to the world and of our duty to support fellow believers.
Avoiding the appearance of evil, or abstaining from every form of evil, means to live in God’s light by the power of the Holy Spirit and we guard the integrity of our own walk (with Christ) by avoiding every kind of evil, and we strive to --- “make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Rom 13:14).
Virtue consists not in abstaining from vice but in not desiring it.
From Mike: John makes an interesting statement to close his article. The definition of virtue is behavior showing high moral standards. Both abstinence and not desiring are virtue!
Also, to what extent do you take 1 Corinthians 6:7 and 8:13? What about MY rights most of us want to know.
As John says: “Think on these things”!!