(J. R. Miller, “Christian Essentials” 1904)
“Avoid every kind of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:22
Some professors are accustomed to think of some things as ‘only slightly evil‘, while other things are considered as most vile in their eyes.
They appear to think, that if they keep themselves from the worse kind of sins–then they need not be so watchful against the minor forms of evil. They will not lie, nor steal, nor swear, nor do other things which would brand them as ‘wicked’ in the eyes of the community. But meanwhile they are satisfied to be ungentle, unkind, selfish, bad-tempered, and worldly!
But Paul’s exhortation is, “Avoid every kind of evil.” We are not to pick out certain things and condemn these alone as evil, abstaining from them; meanwhile indulging in pet vices and sinful habits of our own. Whatever is sinful in even the slightest way–is to be avoided!