Debbie W. Wilson
“I don’t like her.” I was probably seven years old when I told my mother my reservations about a woman who was going to be my aunt. My uncle had brought his striking fiancée to meet the family. She smiled, but something about her said “Beware.”
When your child tells you she doesn’t like someone, how do you respond? Or when you feel wary about someone in a respected position, what do you do? Often Christian parents tell their child, “Now sweetie, we’re supposed to love everyone.” They incorrectly believe that love means trusting.
Jesus told us to be discerning. When He warned against casting pearls before swine, He was talking about unsafe people, not livestock (Matthew 7:6). God has placed internal radar within us. Sometimes we talk ourselves out of it because discernment feels judgmental and mean. Yet those warnings protect us.
After my uncle married his bride, her true nature came out. She was as cruel and beautiful as Snow White’s stepmother. My mother remembered my words and remarked that children see what adults often miss. I’ve thought about that when, as an adult, I’ve tried to talk myself out of uneasy feelings. I wanted to like the people I met. Trusting feels nice. Believing the best sounds kind. Yet, over the years, my instincts have usually proven right.
God’s Word helps us built a sound alarm system that warns and protect us. His Spirit activates that alarm as we walk with Him. Our radar may not spell out what’s wrong. It just tells us to be careful. We don’t have to understand the why. We just need to heed it.
Don’t let the fear of being judgmental, narrow, or foolish stop you from being discerning. Here are 10 verses on evil to boost your internal alarm system.
Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/lolostock
1. Recognizing evil protects us from harm.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9 NIV).
Are you surprised that love hates evil?
Evil here means harmful in effect. Some things may be evil for me but not for you. Credit cards help some people keep track of their spending, but they tempt others to overspend and create bondage to debt. Do certain people, types of entertainment, or situations cause you to stumble or suffer? Then, as The Message puts it, “Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.”
Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/4maksym