“Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1Thess 5:22)

Recently a young woman from our church came to my office. She has a little son. That morning, she had quarreled with her husband who drove her away from home. The reason, according to her, is that he is too jealous. I asked her if there was any reason why he should suspect her to be unfaithful. She laughed nervously (that is a sign of guilt…). She confessed that she talks on the phone with ex-boyfriends and other men who occasionally send her money or recharge cards (credit for her phone). She assured me that there is nothing more than that. But because her husband is jealous, immediately she finishes talking to them, she deletes their numbers from her phone.


I told her I will intervene to settle them so that she can go back home with her child. But that she should come again for more counselling. I told her that she is playing games with her marriage, with her husband’s emotions. Provoking your spouse is terribly wicked. I told her that this flirting game will give the devil a foothold in her marriage and the end is only pain, sorrow and regret. If you give the devil a finger, he will take the hand. Because she is newly married, the foundation of the marriage is very important. There is much to talk about and pray with her in the future. She promised to come back.


As believers, we are commanded to avoid, not only open sin, but every hint or appearance of evil. Any action, attitude or word that brings pain or hurt on another is considered evil. Any carless attitude is evil. Any unnecessary provocation is evil. Any unrestrained sexual attitude, lacking self-control and prudence is evil. You have to be jealous with your testimony as a married man or woman, as a believer!


This is God’s command: You are to abstain from all evil! Not just from some, but from all sinful acts. The word ‘abstain’ means to draw back, to create and keep a distance from anything you consider sin. By staying passive in the midst of wicked men, you tell others that you are one with them. Please note, you cannot hate sin by your own power. You need the power of the Holy Spirit to abstain from sin. Pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit!


Please remember, the future of your marriage is very important! But your testimony as a child of God is even more so! What people see in you will direct them to life or death. You may be the only Bible they will ever read! Keep your ‘pages’ clean and pure! Sin is a disgrace, but godliness is profitable for all things! Think about these words…if there is need for correction, repent immediately…let the devil be disappointed! Let God be glorified!


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