Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Do we really abhor evil or just kind of dislike it, think it’s wrong, know it’s bad but kind of tolerate it? If we do, then we have the wrong attitude about it. We are to hate the evil which is in us, any evil which may have crept into the church, and the evil so prevalent in the world around us. If we hate it instead of just disliking it or, worse, liking it, then we will cast it as far from us as possible. We will not allow any bit of it in our lives. We will not participate in it or approve of it by silence or tolerance or anything else. If we truly abhor evil, then we will do anything to oppose it in our lives.
We are supposed to keep evil as far away as possible, but then we are to cleave to that which is good. We are to pull it close and make it a prominent part of our lives. We are to seek it out, draw near to it, and practice it in our lives. We are to enfold our lives around good things, righteous things, godly things and draw ever closer to the heart of our good God. We are to cling tightly to His truths and His ways, imitate His love and mercy, show His grace to others and let righteousness abound in and through us.
Why is it so important to make a distinction? Why was separation important enough that God commanded it? Because His righteousness cannot tolerate evil. Sin was never part of Him and can’t ever be. And so when He is part of us, He should not be dwelling in our hearts alongside sin and worldliness. Obedience to God requires us to adopt His views on things, to love what He loves and hate what He hates and be sanctified by Him in our lives.
Do we love what God loves in the way that God loves it? Have we made a conscious decision to rid our lives of the things that displease Him and add to our lives the things He delights in? Are we willing to take a strong stand in our lives against the attacks of evil that will no doubt come? Jesus will be our defender. His Word will be our shield. His righteousness will uphold us. And His love will work in and through us. So let us have the right priorities and commit to making right choices in our lives.