Skip to main content

The 3-C's of "Turning Away"

What is it you actually walk away from?  In clothing stores, I find it easy to turn away from things which have a very low cut, loud prints, or some type of price tag which is out of this world.  In food stores, I find it easy to turn away from things I cannot identify displayed in the meat case, or pickled animal parts in jars on shelves.  In conversations this time of year, I find it easy to turn away from all those controversial ones about who to elect as our next leader in our nation.  Some things are easier to walk away from while others are a little more challenging - like the candy at the checkout counter or the plate of freshly baked cookies someone brings into work to share.  What we choose to walk away from may be the very thing which could take us down a path we don't really want to pursue!

Walk away from the evil things in the world—just leave them behind, and do what is right, and always seek peace and pursue it. (I Peter 3:11 VOICE)

Scripture is clear - we are to walk away from the evil things in this world.  This would include any unwholesome conduct, conversation, or company.  Conduct is really behavior - when we turn away from bad behavior, we are less likely to become engaged in the same behavior.  For example, when I was raising my kids, I would give them a little time away from each other in order to go through a "cooling down" period when they were behaving poorly toward one another.  It usually worked because they really didn't want to be alone in their rooms.  That solitude gave them a moment to consider their behavior.  Often, when we are considering a course of behavior we might be enticed to pursue, we will have this niggling inside which is warning us about that particular course of conduct.  It isn't quite right and we know it.  When we are willing to walk away from it - even when it seems enticing to us - we often find we look back upon that choice without any regret!

Conversation is another area where we often need to just "walk away" from the whole unwholesome path it is taking.  If we examine scripture, we are warned to avoid the kind of conversations which will lead us down roads where we are complaining, arguing, antagonizing, or even ridiculing another. It is probably one of the hardest things to avoid gossip, but scripture clearly tells us not to engage in this manner of conversational "sabotage" of another person's character.  Really, when we consider "walking away" from conversations we are not going to benefit from, or which will certainly not benefit another, it makes sense. There is no positive outcome from these conversations - they just end up creating a higher degree of dissatisfaction over whatever we were complaining about, get us riled up so we are likely to take pretty unwholesome action, or leave someone else exposed in the process.

Company is the third area where we might find ourselves faced with "companions" who are just not that committed to the same values we are, or are kind of deviant in their conduct. When we choose to walk away from these interactions and find different relationships, there may be a sense of abandonment the other feels as a result of us not choosing to pursue that relationship any longer. In some cases, it actually helps us become stronger in our commitment to what truly matters in this life. People are important, but there are times when some people are just not right for us because we are too weak to avoid the things they are doing which might lead us into compromise, or we are just being continually degraded in the relationship.  The company we keep matters - it affects our conduct and conversation, so it cannot be eliminated from this "walk away" process.

The important part of this instruction to us is not the "walking away", but the "pursuing" part.  We turn away from something, but it is always to turn toward something better.  We turn away from unwholesome conversation to pursue that which is uplifting, encouraging, etc.  We turn away from conduct which is a little sketchy and pursue conduct which is grace-filled, honorable, and trustworthy.  We turn away from company which is not pursuing the stuff God tells us is okay to pursue in order to avoid the trap that wrong conduct will actually create for us down the road!  Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean

Doubt isn't a bad thing

I would like for you to consider for a moment what this journalist was attempting to share in his words: " Who never doubted, never half believed. Where doubt is, there truth is - it is her shadow ." (Ambrose Bierce) Have you ever doubted? Then it is suggested you were at least at the place of some form of belief. Have you ever considered what your doubt was attempting to reveal to you? Perhaps doubt is not a bad thing because it points us to consider the truth of a matter. Where doubt is - - - there truth is. It may be in the shadows, but it is there! We need only look a little closer and we will find truth has never been far from us.  The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy. The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes. God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold, with a lifetime guarantee. The decisions of God are accurate dow