1 Thessalonians 5:22 "Abstain from all appearance of evil."
To abstain is to avoid; to deny oneself or to refuse to do something. In essence, our verse of focus states that we must refuse or avoid anything that may look wrong or bad. Any practice or habit that dulls our awareness can lead us along an undesirable path. On the other hand, where there is acute awareness, vigilence and discernment, the possibility of yielding to temptation is lessened. We must never open any door that will give Satan access to our minds. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit enables us to abstain. We cannot abstain without His help.
The admonition given in our verse of focus is "abstain from all appearance of evil." The question is asked. What is evil? It is sin, wickedness and corruption. Simply put, evil is anything - word, thought, action or habit that opposes God. Unaided by the Holy Spirit, the human mind cannot decipher between good and evil; or between right and wrong. Evil is deadly and comes undetectably. It sneaks up on us and can eventually destroys us.
The conclusion of the Lord's Prayer, as recorded in Matthew 6:13 states, " And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil" These are well-known words that we need to embrace as we encounter life's experiences. In order for us to abstain from even the appearance of evil, we undoubtedly need the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 30:21 states, "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left."
The Holy Spirit is always present to guide and direct.
We need discernment and insight, which are gifts from God. There are some choices that we have made; that we are making; or that we will make, let us pause and seek divine guidance and direction. We can do nothing about our past choices, but certainly, much can be done in relation to the present and future ones. We are assured that God stands ready to supply all the needed resources for abstaining from the appearance of all evil.