Do not enter the path of the wicked and do not proceed in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not pass by it; turn away from it and pass on.
The book of Proverbs urges us to cling to the truth of God’s Word, no matter what the culture around us is doing. In Proverbs 1, Solomon talked about the danger of giving in to peer pressure: “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, ‘Come with us . . . ,” my son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, for their feet run to evil” (1:10-11, 15-16). And in Proverbs 4, he said, “Do not enter the path of the wicked and do not proceed in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not pass by it; turn away from it and pass on” (4:14-15).
Yet many Christians are compromising their beliefs and condoning what others around them are doing, including attitudes and behaviors that the Word of God clearly describe as sin. These Christians have come to believe–as secularists believe–that sin is not really a big deal. In fact, the word “sin” is rarely used in our national discourse to describe behaviors that are outside of God’s standards. The avoidance of the word in our churches leads many Christians to conclude that sin is merely a human flaw, easily overlooked.
If we are not careful, we can become swallowed up in the quicksand of our corrupt culture, making it nearly impossible to tell Christianity apart from the world. Some Christians sell out spiritually by surrendering to the moral temptations of our culture. Other Christians sell out their faith to political correctness. Caving to peer pressure, they remain silent instead of proclaiming God’s truth about hot-button issues, fearful of being labeled a “religious fanatic,” being looked over for a promotion at work, or losing popularity in their school. And if they have a friend who is willing to stand up for truth, then they distance themselves from that person, not wanting to experience any of the negative fallout their friend experiences.
Unbelievers in our world have seen plenty of fakes and phonies who give in to peer pressure. What they have not seen nearly enough is authentic and winsome Christianity lived out with wisdom and grace. If we are to influence our culture, we must begin on our knees. Show me a believer who is effective in public, and I will show you a believer who is effective in private. Show me an individual communicating persuasively to this generation, and I will show you an individual communicating passionately with God.
As Christians, our efforts to influence our culture are neither convenient nor comfortable. They never are–not when we are trying to stand for God in a sinful and corrupt generation. But even if you have to stand alone, I urge you to stand without bending, because you never know who you are influencing.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Convictions That Will Change Your World” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2017.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.