What Does “Abstain From All Appearance Of Evil” Mean To You?

I Thessalonians 5:22 contains an interesting little verse that does not receive anywhere near the attention that it deserves. It says that the Christian is to,

“Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

I believe an entire sermon could be preached on that one little verse.

Before I tell you what it means to me, would you mind telling me what it means to you? How do you apply this verse to your Christian walk?



1 Comment

  1. What a fascinating question!

    First, please understand I am no theologian. I am not even officially school trained or anything. I say that, because I sometimes tend to be simplistic in my thoughts.

    I think a lot of this comes from that pesky little phrase, “all appearance of.” I suspect it may have more depth than just what things look like.

    First, I would say that our testimony before the world is vital. I would even say that our testimony to other believers is vital. We ought not to be a stumbling block to anybody.

    On the other hand, I have seen this verse used as a legalistic bludgeon among believers. It’s easy for me to condemn you for appearing evil; the only problem is when I apply my standards of personal preference to that. The fact that I hate something you do does not necessarily mean it presents the appearance of evil. Example. I heard this very thing applied from an older, more traditional believer at our place in reference to another who was, shall we say, less traditional. Specifically, the issue was purple hair. To this gentlemen, that represented the appearance of evil. I don’t care for purple hair much myself, but I think in that case, scripture was being used as a club.

    I don’t read Greek by any means, but I think there are some solid things that could be said about this verse that based on language, and the overall context it is in, that more than anything this is guidance for us to live lives avoiding not only the appearance of sin and evil, bu the sin and evil itself. It seems, in totality to be part of an exhortation to live holy lives by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Awesome question!

    Liked by 1 person

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