“Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.”
Nobody has ever gone into “deep” sin without partaking of that sin for the first time. The alcoholic became an alcoholic with their first drink. The person who smokes cigarettes got addicted to cigarettes with their first smoke of a cigarette. A person who got addicted to pornography got addicted to it by looking at the first wrong picture. You will never do something a second time if you don’t do it the first time.
I remember when I was a boy, my parents would not allow me to eat candy cigarettes. I told my mother that it was only candy, but she reminded me that we didn’t play sin in our household. My parents were very careful about not allowing me to be exposed to sin because they knew that I would never do it if I never partook of it for the first time. Though other adults thought my parents were too strict on me, I am thankful that they did what they could to keep me from being exposed to sin. I may have seemed naive to many people, but I would rather be naive about sin than to be knowledgeable about it and have to fight its temptation for the rest of my life.
The verse above is a warning to every believer to do what they can to avoid being exposed to sin. You will notice that God says that we are not to enter the path of the wicked and that we are to “Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.” In other words, God wants the believer to do everything in their power to stay away from the presence of sin, and God wants this done because He knows that you will have a better chance of never committing the sin if you are never around it. A couple of lessons are taught in these verses that can help you to avoid being exposed to sin.
First, stay simple concerning sin. In other words, you don’t have to know about sin. The less you know about sin, the better chance you have not to commit it. You don’t need to enter the “path of the wicked” so that you can learn why it is wrong. My friend, the mistake that Adam and Eve made was that they learned about sin, and once they learned about it, they committed it. If you are never in the pathway of sin, you will never be able to commit it. The best way to have victory over sin is to never be in the place that sin could be.
Second, avoid the things that may cause you to sin. Once you have been exposed to sin, you are going to have to avoid where sin arises. You must become purposeful with your decisions to avoid being where the sin that tempts you may arise. For instance, I heard of a man who once lived a life of fornication, but once he got right with the LORD, he avoided the part of town where the businesses that fed his sin were conducted. Some may think this is extreme, but you are going to have to take extreme measures if you are going to keep yourself from doing the things that are sinful.
Third, you are going to have to learn to tell yourself, “No,” when you are tempted to sin. There are going to be times when you can’t help but be faced with sin’s temptation. It is at that moment that you must have the fortitude to tell yourself “no,” and the character to listen to yourself. If you can’t say “no,” you will never avoid the path of sin. Always remember that avoiding sin’s pathway will be decisive and purposeful acts that you must make every day.