Stay Away!

So now, my sons, listen to me, and don’t turn away from the words of my mouth. Keep your way far from her. Don’t go near the door of her house. Otherwise, you will give up your vitality to others and your years to someone cruel; strangers will drain your resources, and your earnings will end up in a foreigner’s house. Proverbs 5:7-10 HCSB

As a the Youth Associate for the Missouri Baptist Convention I trained many youth ministers across the state. One of the things I would always tell them, “Avoid all appearances of evil, and avoid putting yourself in a situation where someone could question your character or honesty.” My father always told me, “Two things to avoid in ministry – women and money.” His point was that if a person were to put himself in a position where others could question him about what he was doing with a woman that was not his wife or with money, he was playing with fire and would eventually get burned. I encouraged male youth ministers to never counsel with a female teenager alone and to even avoid taking a female teenager home from a youth event when it was just the two of them. I also encouraged them to let other people handle all money transactions so no one could accuse them of mis-using the money in any way.

These verses remind us to “Keep your way far from her. Don’t go near the door of her house.” This is a clear warning that the best way to avoid temptation is to avoid any situation that would put you in a tempting situation or even be questioned by someone else. There are consequences when one yields to temptation. One gives up his vitality. The Hebrew word for vitality could be translated majesty, honor, glory, or grandeur.

Challenge: Are you willing to give up your vitality for a short time of pleasure? Avoid all appearances of evil. When tempted, follow Christ’s example and use Scripture to defeat Satan and his traps.

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