Keep a Safe Distance

“Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house”  (Proverbs 5:8).

We have all read accounts of people who have leaned too far over at a zoo and then fell in, sometimes with tragic results. We also hear of “extreme-sports” enthusiasts who routinely risk their lives for the rush of the moment. They ski down vertical mountains or barrel down a waterfall. They see death face to face, and actually enjoy the experience.

Temptation, by its very nature, comes quietly and seductively. At first, it seems harmless and we only want to take a look. Then we get used to the view and want to inch closer. The more we draw close, the less dangerous it appears. Soon we get taken captive, almost never all at once, but rather in stages. That’s how Satan works. He baits us and then fools us. Then he laughs at our demise.

God gives us the remedy in the verse above: “Keep your way far from her.” Do not draw near to the cliff’s edge if only to take a peek. You may fall, and great will be the damage. Stay clear of treacherous paths, and keep moving forward on the straight path ahead.

How can we keep a safe distance?

1. By knowing your weaknesses.
Some activities all Christians should avoid, but others may appear harmless. What may not harm one person may destroy another. Every believer struggles with something. Once you identify your weakness, take steps to avoid it altogether. It may not harm one Christian to enter a music store, but someone else might fall prey to temptation. The same for movies and other forms of entertainment.

2. Ask family and friends for help.
Be honest with family members and others about your need to avoid certain places. And then be ready to cooperate with them and their own need to avoid other places. Read 1 Corinthians 8 and Romans 14 for a complete explanation. We need to avoid certain places and activities for our own sake and that of others. Some places we should never go near again as long as we live.

3. Take proactive measures.
If someone used to frequent the neighborhood bar on the way home from work, then that person should drive a different way home. Some people should avoid old acquaintances who can only drag them down. We all should stay clear of any danger zones that could trip us up.

God called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). We need to stay clear of the old haunts and old company that would drag us back into it (1 Peter 4:2-5). Why go near something that could potentially harm us? The truly wise person stays the course and does not gaze too long at the tempting billboards of evil. Let’s keep a safe distance, and keep our feet on the straight and narrow path.

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