Sunday, January 13, 2013

AVOID, Deny, Ignore

Avoid, Deny & Ignore are 3 actions that are prevalent in our modern society.
This is the first of a three part series.  All three of these verbs are similar but yet very different.  We will be looking at both the good and the bad of each word and we will be learning what the Bible has to say about these verbs.
 
Today we will focus on the word "Avoid"
Definition:  to depart or withdraw from, to keep away from
Synonyms:  circumvent, dodge, escape, shun, elude, duck, sidestep, evade
Antonyms:   face, meet, seek, want

There are 4 areas/situations that God's Word tells us to avoid:

1.  Avoid Evil

"Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil man.  Avoid it, do not travel on it;  turn from it and go on your way."  Proverbs 4:14 & 15

"The highway of the upright avoids evil;  he who guards his way guards his soul."  Proverbs 16:17

It is interesting that travel, pathway & highway are compared to our decision making.  When we first see evil we are to turn around and "go on your way."   There is nothing easier to understand than that picture of a road and a traveller coming upon something bad.  Simply stated - have nothing to do with evil - Turn around and go the other way! 

"Avoid every kind of evil."  1 Thessalonians 5:22

The definition of "evil" is "morally bad or wrong" - we are talking about sin.  We are to avoid "every kind of evil" or every kind of sin.  The verses below are about sexual immorality - which is so relevant to today's society.  Holiness is a word that is not used much in our modern world but "it is God's will that we should be holy"!!!  It will not be easy but we must "learn" to control ourselves in order to be honorable to our Lord and also be respected by our fellow humankind.

"It is God's will that you should be holy;  that you should avoid sexual immorality;  that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God;  and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him.  The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.  For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life."  1 Thessalonians 4:3-7

2.  Avoid Strife

"It is to a man's honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel."  Proverbs 20:3

The meaning of "strife" is "heated or bitter conflict, quarrel, clash".  I think that we can all recall a situation where heated words were said, feelings were hurt and sleep was lost.  As it says in the verse below:  "these (quarrels) are unprofitable & useless."  You should still stand up for what you believe in and voice your opinion but in a calm and clear way.  My lifelong struggle has been "hot-headedness" and there have been many times when I said something that I didn't mean and later looking back I realized just how stupid I sounded.    Intelligence comes with calm, whereas stupidity comes with fury.

"But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless."  Titus 3:9

3.  Avoid Gossip

"A gossip betrays a confidence;  so avoid a man who talks too much."  Proverbs 20:19

Wow - isn't this a difficult topic for many!!  I'm not even talking about the gossip columns of the rich and famous - what about our churches?  Aren't our congregations inundated with "cliques" and gossiping groups?  If you partake in gossip, not only are you hurting the person being gossiped about but you are also hurting yourself - "you become more and more ungodly".

"Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly."  2 Timothy 2:16

4. Avoid Extremes

".........The man who fears God will avoid all extremes."  Ecclesiastes 7:18

There are 2 extremes:  Too much and Too little.  We talked about "too much" above now, with "too little" in mind let's think about all 3 "avoidances" (evil, strife & gossip).
 
Evil - what happens when we take "evil" to the opposite extreme?  What if we were to think of "germs" as evil and go so extreme in our thinking that it becomes a paranoia and a phobia?  Our society is filled with hundreds of different kinds of "phobias" like: germaphobia (fear of germs & dirt), agoraphobia (fear of open spaces), hematophobia (fear of blood), aerophobia (fear of flying), arachnophobia (fear of spiders) and claustrophobia (fear of confined spaces) are just a few.  Personally, I am claustrophobic - I avoid elevators not because of the height but because of "being trapped."  It is an irrational fear but if there is an emergency, then I will face that fear and take a ride in an elevator.  This past summer a family member was in the hospital for 10 days - I of course faced my fear head on and rode in an elevator twice a day during that time.  When something irrationally becomes "evil" in your mind and becomes a phobia it can destroy everyday life, therefore going to the opposite extreme.

Strife -  the opposite extreme of avoiding strife is never getting any conflict resolved.  I have seen many friends spend a lifetime of "tip-toeing" around another family member to avoid an argument at all cost.  They go so far that they are taken advantage of almost in an abusive way.  Some friends have even taken this unresolved conflict to the grave.  Maybe it was just a misunderstanding but because these friends avoided confrontation to evade a quarrel they ended up never finding out the truth .....they will never have resolution or closure.  Confrontation and holding each other accountable is part of the Christian walk - the difference between Christians and the world SHOULD be in the way that we confront one another.

Gossip - the opposite extreme of avoiding gossip is not hearing anything (including important information) that anybody has to say.  There might be someone at church that you avoid because they are a known "Gossiper".  What if there is an underlying problem and that person is actually crying out for help?  Maybe there is a need that you could fill but because you have deemed it "gossip" - you won't even listen to what is being said. 

Avoiding those situations that God has told us to avoid will be beneficial, however, going to the opposite extreme will be just as damaging as not avoiding those situations in the first place.



Click to view:
Part 2 - DENY
Part 3 - IGNORE

 
 

11 comments:

  1. Hi Angie, I've really enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks also for your visit. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Ruth

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  2. Hi Angie! Just wanted to pop by and thank you for following my blog, "She Calls Me Mama Leisha." You have a lovely blog and I am returning the follow. Looking forward to reading more from you. XOXO!

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  3. It seems so simple, yet getting caught up can cause so much strife. Life is so much easier when you just avoid evil. Nice post.

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  4. Excellent post! Ironically, we are designing out a pantry, from a rather useless "prebuilt" one with 3 deep shelves, spaces too far apart to be of much good for a pantry, and your post reminded me to go downstairs and bring up a mason jar for my husband to measure height by to include a space in the design for preserves! By the way, thanks so much for becoming my newest follower through the Let's Get Social Sunday Linky Party I am co-hosting today! So, I thought I would pop on over and "check you out" and I just became your newest follower, yay! Hope you have had a great weekend!

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  5. Thought provoking! Looking forward to number two in the series. Thanks for stopping by Lilly Through The Valley and following me.

    Candice

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  6. I love this. I need to remember these daily!

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  7. Great post. Looking forward to reading your next series.

    ~Shanay~
    www.myuniquegirlz.blogspot.com

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  8. LOVE your blog and I really LOVE that you have a blog schedule! So cool.

    Tiffany
    www.pinkfaithtoday.blogspot.com

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  9. Hello Angie, It was really interesting to read your blog. If we can remember this stuff every morning our lives will be more beautiful than now.

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  10. Great post! Have a wonderful week!

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Please feel free to leave comments or questions (no question is ever stupid) - They will show up on the blog once I have read through them.
Thank You.

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