Wise and Simple

For your obedience is come abroad unto all men.  I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

Romans 16:19

Paul gives the Christians in Rome some advice here that we would be wise to consider nearly two thousand years later.  “…I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.”

“I would have you wise unto that which is good.”  We should be wise to the things that are good.  The Bible is good.  The things of the Lord are good.  Helping others is good.  Being an encouragement is good.  There are many, many things that are good.  We should be studying those things.  We should be learning more about those things.  We should be wise unto those things.

“I would have you… simple concerning evil.”  Our natural instinct is to be curious about things that we have no business being curious about.  Our flesh is naturally attracted to things that are evil and things that are taboo.  There are many things in this world that are evil.  We need to simply avoid those things.  We don’t need to learn everything about things that are evil.  We should even work to reign in our natural curiosity about those things.

Most people apply the “simple concerning evil” part of the verse to things that are blatantly evil.  But we could also apply it to “little things” like gossip.  We don’t need to know about every skeleton in every person’s closet.  We don’t need to whisper around about what “Brother or Sister So-and-So” did or didn’t do.  The Bible speaks of gossip as a sin, and, as such, it is evil.  We need to simple concerning even “little things.”

About what things are we wise and about what things are we simple?  The answer to those questions will tell us much about our spiritual walk.

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