We have all been cautioned to avoid things. Even growing up, good parents teach their children that there are places, people, and things which they ought to avoid. To avoid something is to not go near it or not do it. Did you know that the Bible tells us of a number of things to avoid? Consider our need to avoid it!
Avoid… The Wicked Path. The wise man said, “Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn away from it and pass on” (Prov. 4:14-15). We must avoid walking on the path of wickedness and evil at all costs. Why? Because it is the “way that leads to destruction, and many there be who go in by it” (Matt. 7:13). If you wish to avoid eternal destruction, you must avoid the path of the wicked – it will lead you to a place you do not want to go! The path of the wicked – Avoid It!
Avoid...Fornication. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth about the need to “avoid fornication” (1 Cor. 7:2 KJV). We live in an overly sexualized world, yet we must strive to avoid sexual sins. Paul said, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18 KJV). No matter how accepted fornication may become, to engage in such is a sin against our own body and a sin against God. How do we avoid fornication? By marrying (1 Cor. 7:1-2), by being careful what we look at (Matt. 5:28-29; Job 31:1), and by fleeing the things that would tempt us in this way (1 Cor. 6:18). Fornication – Avoid It!
Avoid...Foolish Disputes. Notice Paul’s instruction to young evangelists in the Bible. To Timothy he said, “But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife” (2 Tim. 2:23). To Titus he wrote, “But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless” (Titus 3:9). There are some disputes and questions that are foolish and ignorant that we need to be avoiding. Let us learn that not every question deserves an answer. Jesus knew this. When confronted with questions about the woman taken in adultery, He did not answer their question (Jn. 8:3-6). Notice what Paul said about foolish disputes and questions – they cause strife, are unprofitable, and useless. Foolish disputes – Avoid It!
Avoid Divisiveness. The apostle instructed Christians, “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple” (Rom. 16:17-18). Unity is highly prized by God – it is “good and precious” in His sight (Ps. 133). Unfortunately, you will sometimes find those who cause division among God’s people. Those who would do such are to be avoided lest they harm the unity that exists among brethren. Further, there is something spiritually wrong with divisive brethren. Paul told Titus to, “Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned” (Titus 3:10-11). We must avoid and reject (after admonitions) a divisive man lest we be divided from our brethren and suffer the same condemnation as the one causing the division. Divisiveness – Avoid It!
As the people of God, let us avoid these things that we might remain His faithful followers!