«Abstain from every form of evil» (l Thessalonians 5:22).
IT’S INTERESTING that the apostle wrote «abstain from every form of evil” From this I infer that there are several categories as far as evil is concerned. Can matters that seem harmless to our eyes be included here—things which deep down are as bad as the worst?
If you’re one of those people who often finds themselves thinking, «What’s wrong with this?» «I am mature enough to do certain things without them affecting me» or «I’m not hurting anyone,» then you’re putting yourself in a situation of vulnerability, which Satan will take advantage of. Our judgment is too fragile to rely on; our steps are only certain when we affirm our walk through life with a «Thus says the Lord.»
In the Bible we read: «All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify» (l Corinthians 10:23). This is the key to acting responsibly before God and ourselves: anything that hinders spiritual growth and nourishes your carnal nature must be avoided. We must not put ourselves in the devil’s line of fire thinking that we’re «smart» enough to not be deceived. What we read, what we look at on our screens, our conversations, and certain obsessive thoughts can enslave our day-to-day lives with subtle chains of perversion.
When Eve approached the beautiful tree that God had forbidden her to touch, she may have thought she was doing nothing wrong, but she gave Satan his first advantage. The rest was a matter of time. The evil one waited patiently until Eve succumbed to her desire to possess the fruit. That great deceiver who knows women’s nature does not specialize in setting obvious «traps»; he is far more subtle, cautious and cunning in his attempts to snare us.
When faced with temptation, rest assured that God is powerful enough to deliver you from yourself, the unclean and profane, and your tendencies to do evil. Don’t be ashamed to declare your weaknesses to God. The eternal and compassionate Lord is near when evil tries to play tricks on you by disguising itself as good. «When temptations and trials rush in upon us, let us go to God and agonize with Him in prayer. He will not turn us away empty, but will give us grace and strength to overcome, and to break the power of the enemy» (Ellen G. White, Prayer, ch. 5, p. 51).