Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:14
Turning from evil is simple right? It should be, shouldn’t it? First, we should probably define ‘evil’ because chances are good none of us consider ourselves evil. The liar says he’s not as bad as the thief. The thief admits his faults but certainly isn’t as bad as the neighborhood pervert. And the pervert couldn’t possibly be as bad as the murderer. It’s all relative. Oh sure, there’s no denying that we’re sinners, but evil? No way. Well it then becomes a finger pointing game like the illustration above.
So then, is it fair to say ‘turn from sin? That’s a little harder isn’t it? Evil is really really bad, but sin seems to have degrees.
I think what the Bible is telling us is that the objective or goal is to live a life free of sin. Doable? Perhaps. Probable? Maybe not. And yet, we should certainly avoid it, eschew it, despise it, and run far from it when we possibly we can.
I’ve used the illustration before in this space:
Back in the 1800s several men were being interviewed for a coach driving position for the Queen. The Queen’s sole question to each man was “how close can you get your horses and carriage to the edge of the cliff without going over?” One by one the answers were one inch to several inches. Finally a man looked at the Queen and said, “Ma’am, if you’re in the carriage, I will be as far away from that cliff as is possible.”
We should be trying to keep that kind of distance to sin (and evil) in our lives. You’ll be tempted to peek over the edge, but it’s a long drop down and you don’t want to go there.