Evil has a way of masking itself. In this study of Proverbs, we learn what evil is and what kind of people to stay away from.
The proverb says:
Don’t follow the bad example of cruel and evil [wicked KJV] people. Turn aside and keep going. Stay away from them. (vs 14-15 CEV)
Most Christians look at the phrases wicked people or evil people as “really bad sinners” like those who bombed the trade center, flew planes into the twin towers, and mass murdered the Jews. But they fail to understand that wickedness and evil are plain ol’ sin. Anything that goes against the standards of God is wickedness and evil. It doesn’t matter to what degree.
Wickedness is manipulating another person to get something from them. Wickedness is arrogance and pride. Wickedness is selfishness. Evil is gossiping behind someone’s back. Evil is shoplifting. Evil is telling lies. Evil is fornication or molestation. Evil is pirating digital media. The proverbs say to stay away from people such as these.
I believe this applies to those who are practitioners of sin and not necessarily people who sin on occasion (followers of God). We all make mistakes and occasionally fall into sin, but we are not trying to sin. We don’t practice sin, rather, we repent, and through God’s grace, we are able to live righteously (Titus 2:11-12).
But we’ve got to stay away from people who practice sin, and especially those who claim to be Christians. This was so true for me when I was in the harlot church. Because of my fellowship with them, I was often in sin. I do not blame them for my sins, but I understand why this proverb is in the bible. Another reference to this is found in 1 Corinthians 15:33.
If you’ve been born again, you know right from wrong and you can perceive your surroundings. Do you follow the bad examples set before you, or do you turn away? Have you made the decision to live for Christ but still fellowship with folks who practice evil and wickedness? The proverbs says to stay away from such people.
How they think
They can’t sleep or rest until they do wrong or harm some innocent victim. Their food and drink are violence and cruelty. (16-17 CEV)
This is the opposite from the followers of Jesus. If we do something wrong, we lose sleep until it’s resolved and we’ve repented. But this scripture goes to show how backwards these wicked people’s minds are. They are convicted by the fact that they haven’t done any wrong and they rest easy knowing that they have committed sin.
The proverbs says they victimize the innocent. So their sin isn’t in retaliation for crimes against them, but they do wrong to people who don’t even deserve it. They drink and eat violence and cruelty! This could mean that they ultimately consume the very fruit they’ve planted, for the bible says, “what a man sows he will also reap.” So I don’t want to be around when they reap their harvest of destruction for their sin. Once again, we are called to stay away from such people.
The lifestyle of good people is like sunlight at dawn that keeps getting brighter until broad daylight. The lifestyle of the wicked is like total darkness, and they will never know what makes them stumble. (vs 18-19 CEV)
The comparison between good and evil is like day and night. Those who follow God are growing and getting brighter. This means we aren’t there yet, but there is clear evidence, just as dawn, that we are progressing away from darkness (sin) and into holiness and righteousness. If we are real Christians, we will have evidence in our lives. We will commit less and less sin and more righteous and good works through God’s grace. We will be moving closer and closer to Jesus and becoming more like him.
I hate the excuses the Liberal Christians give about sin, saying: “We’re all growing.” But how can they be growing if they are unrepentant and continue to practice sin!? If there isn’t progression in your life, if you’re not getting brighter, and if you make excuses for your sin then you are in darkness and a child of the devil (1 John 3:10).
As evil people roam the night, they stumble, but they never know what makes them stumble. The bible says that they love darkness (John 3:19), but at the same time, it’s not as if they can actually see in the darkness (which is foolish). This means they are blinded spiritually. They sin because they are children of the devil, but they stay blind because they’ve made the choice to continue to practice sin. I pray for the blinded. I pray that the Lord will remove the veil and show himself.
If you are a follower of God and you fellowship with those who practice sin, it would be wise of you to disassociate yourself from them. You are not only disobeying God but allowing yourself to be corrupted by those people. I don’t care if they call themselves Christians – stay away from them.