When the opportunity for sin entices us, what should we do?
Proverbs 4:15 – Avoid it; do not go on it; turn away from it and pass on
1) Avoid sin.
It is unwise to play on the train tracks of Satan. As believers, we cannot flirt with sin and we cannot let her flirt with us. We must avoid sin at all costs. Face masks on, gloves wrapped and distance kept. Total detours are necessary when sin presents itself. According to the Proverbs, to move towards sin is sin. Proverbs 5:8 – “Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house.”
One practical way to avoid sin is to plan ahead. If you know you are going to the movies with some friends, look up a Christian review of the movie beforehand. Even if it is a juicy new release, be prepared by planning ahead. Waiting until a trusted review comes out will serve you immensely. This will prevent you from being in an awkward situation with your friends if you realize you need to walk out of the theater. (It may also save you money on a movie ticket) One website I recommend is pluggedinonline
Another example of planning ahead is driving separately. I have found myself at parties, celebrations, and festivities where I wish I had driven separate. I arrived unsuspecting, unprepared and trapped. When things took a turn for the worst, I was not able to make an easy escape.
2) Turn away from sin.
Not only must we avoid it, but we must turn away from it. This requires direct and decisive action. Sunglasses will not do, we must turn our backs on its hellish glow. We must give sin the cold shoulder and keep walking.
This can be as simple as turning off the TV or changing the radio channel when inappropriate material invades. It may be as painless as turning the head or it may be as excruciating as cutting a hand. (Matthew 5:30)
Christians cannot be moths flying towards sin’s hypnotizing light; we must stop gazing into sin’s deadly trance.
3) Flee to Christ
Proverbs 4:15 is a Sergeant against sin. It commands with utmost clarity and total security. God includes this verse in the Scriptures for our good. Our life is at stake when sin begins to beckon. The fool is someone who does not fear the Lord and runs headlong into sin. Those who are wise fear God and flee to Christ. Jesus shields us from the wrath of God and gives strength for the struggling saint.
Run from sin by running to Jesus. Replace poisonous desires with flourishing ones. Avoiding sin will be fruitless if you also avoid Christ. Jesus wants us to replace old desires and deeds with new ones. Stop stealing and start sharing. Quit cursing and begin blessing. Forsake lust and cultivate love. Close your eyes to sin and open your heart to Christ.
Brothers and sisters, do not be lured into sin like a fish drawn to dead bait. Instead, let us be like Pilgrim in Pilgrims progress. When sin calls, let us plug our ears, and pass by, crying loudly “Life! Life! Eternal Life!”
When it comes to sin, take a detour, pass by, put on Christ.
photograph taken by Steve Runner