When you think of temptation, what comes to your mind? “Fun!” one lady squealed. We laughed as images of our favorite pleasures danced through our minds. But, for the wise, “run” is a better response.
Would you like to protect yourself and loved ones from unnecessary harm? Here is a tool to help you evaluate toys, people, activities, and gray areas.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good,” (Romans 12:9 NIV).
We don’t usually associate love with hate. But sincere love abhors evil. The word for hate in the original language is made up of two parts. One part means to shudder with disdain, to utterly detest. The other means to have distance, separation, or cessation.
The Greek language uses different words to convey the nuances of the meaning of “evil.” The word used in this verse does not mean evil in essence, but detrimental in effect, hurtful.
That means something or someone may not be bad in and of themselves, but if they injure us or what we value, then we need distance from them.
For some people credit cards are great helps and ways of keeping track of spending; for others, they are temptations to spend money they don’t have. So are credit cards evil? That depends on how they affect you.
Apply this principle to video games. Does playing this game have a negative impact on the one playing it or on those s/he loves? Some games bring out aggressiveness that is released on others. Some have a hard time limiting their involvement causing important areas to suffer. Others play a game with a friend and easily walk away.
Look at the people in your lives. Are my children more rebellious or better behaved after spending time with these friends? How does this person affect my values, beliefs, and contentment? What impact do these toys, music, habits, books, movies… have on me?
Sincere love separates from harmful influences and stops destructive behavior.
The verse finishes with the positive. Sincere love clings to what is good. The word cling means to glue together. The inspired word for good means good in essence, pleasing to God, morally honorable and beneficial in effect. It can also mean pleasant, happy and upright, in other words—fun!
God and His word are beneficial and good in essence (Ps. 118:1; 119:39, Mark 10:18). Gluing ourselves to them makes us happy.
God has provided a tool to discern gray areas. When we walk in genuine love we won’t see how close we can get to the edge of temptation and not fall in. We’ll see evil and run to God to enjoy real fun.