Abstain from every form of evil (ASV)—1 Thes. 5: 22.
The exhortation is that everything that is evil, whether it have a good form or a bad form, is to be resisted and opposed. … To abstain from every appearance of evil is another thought—a different one from what the Apostle's words in the original would warrant; nevertheless, they represent a sound principle. We surely should abstain not only from evil things, whatever their form or garb, but also we should abstain so far as possible from doing things that we know to be good, which our friends or neighbors might misunderstand and consider to be evil things. The spirit of a sound mind dictates that not only evil in its every form but also everything that has an evil appearance, even, should be avoided, that our influence for the Lord and the Truth may be the greater.
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Whether we accept the KJV or the ASV translation of this text, it makes but little difference, since both give a thought worthy of our acceptance and practice. Surely as lovers of righteousness and haters of wickedness, we will abstain from every form of wickedness, be it ever so small. So, too, will we abstain from every appearance of evil, be it ever so innocent. We will avoid both the former, because wrong, and the latter, because wrong may result from it to us and to others, if it is not avoided. The latter has been the cause of undermining the influence of some of God's children for good, as well as causing the weak and erring to stumble. Blessed are we, if we practice both precepts!
Parallel passages: Ex. 23: 7; 1Cor. 6: 18; 8: 1-13; Eph. 4: 25-32; 2Cor. 8: 20, 21; 1Thes. 4: 3, 12; Phil. 4: 9; Rom. 14: 1-23; 2Tim. 2: 21-23.
Questions: What have been this week's experiences along the lines of the text? How were they met? What were their results?
WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?
WHEN the morning paints the skies,
And the birds their songs renew,
Let me from my slumbers rise,
Saying, "What would Jesus do?"
When I ply my daily task,
And the round of toil pursue,
Let me every moment ask,
"What would Jesus do?"
Would the foe my heart beguile,
Whispering thoughts and words untrue?
Let me to his subtlest wile
Answer, "What would Jesus do?"
Countless mercies from above
Day by day my pathway strew,
Father, I would prove my love,
Asking, "What would Jesus do?"
Ever let Thy love, O God,
Fill my spirit through and through,
While I tread where He hath trod,
Whispering, "What would Jesus do?"
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