Head in the Sand
“…but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.” Romans 16:19 NKJ
God desires for us to be wise or knowledgeable about the things that are good. This verse is referring to the Word of God, which makes sense because it is where we learn what is good and how to be good. That understanding and teaching come exclusively from the Bible. Jesus wants us to be wise, knowledgeable and well versed in the Bible, thus giving us wisdom about what is good. In contrast, He wants us to be simple concerning what is evil. What does that mean? God wants us to be ignorant regarding the things that are evil. If you look at that verse in the Amplified Bible it says that what God wants from us is that we would be “innocent” concerning the things that are evil.
In our culture, we live the exact opposite of this verse. We spend very little time becoming knowledgeable in the things that are good, in the things of the Word. Many get little of the Word after church is over on Sunday. In fact, think of this: how much time have you spent becoming wise in the Word or the things of God since Sunday morning? The truth is there has probably been a very limited time (if any) for most of us becoming what the Lord desires for us (wise, competent and thinking about the Word). How much time have we spent learning the things of the world or the evil of the world?
As we fill our thoughts with the latest news and speculation by the media about our present and our future we learn of murders, sexual immorality, lies, theft and corruption. That is what the news is, that is all that it has. There is nothing that points to God. We have become innocent or naive concerning the things that are good and wise and knowledgeable concerning the things that are evil. Evil then fills our thoughts and crowds out the truth of the Word from our thoughts.
And it is not just in the news, it is in the TV shows and entertainment we embrace. Think about the violent and horrifying video games now being played. They teach evil and not the good. Now some would say that it is OK to do these things. They would say people can watch comedies on TV about adultery or homosexuality and that it does not affect them because they are a believer and know right and wrong. That is self-deception. Proverbs 23:7 says that as a man thinks in his heart so he is. The things that we think upon then become the things that we come to accept. Every time I laugh at a comedy show that has a sexual joke, I am laughing at what God finds to be an abomination. I am laughing at God’s heart and His commandments for me. How can that not desensitize us to the things of God and make us more accepting of the evil that is around us?
To be innocent of the things that are evil means that we do not pay attention to them. In fact, we avoid them. You cannot help but hear about things that are happening in the news. The difference is that I am not filling my mind with the things that are in opposition to the Word. I don’t listen to the news, but I am still aware of the potential outbreak of the latest flu. I am aware, but I am not worried about it because I am not absorbing things from the media every day. I am ignorant regarding it and will not be affected by it.
The battlefield in spiritual matters most often takes place in the mind therefore what we are thinking on becomes very important. Is it good or evil? If the latter, then we are already defeated because we are wiser concerning the bad news than the good news of Jesus.
J Todd Hostetler