Even the Appearance . . .

The apostle Paul in his first letter to the Thessalonians (5:22) said, “Abstain from all appearance (form) of evil.”

These words were a living reality in the life of the apostle Paul who took public opinion very seriously and did everything within his power, as long as it did not compromise the Gospel, to avoid any appearance of evil.

Living for the glory of God was Paul’s consuming desire. He did not want any shadow to fall on that Blessed Name. He took great precautions to avoid any hint of scandal. Paul’s wisdom in this matter arose from a deep respect for God and a divinely-given humility, which put the name of Christ before his own concerns.

“It was not enough for the apostle to do right, he recognized the importance of appearing right,” Charles Hodge writes. “It is a foolish pride which leads to a disregard of public opinion. We are bound to act in such a way that only God, who sees the heart and knows all things, may approve our conduct, but also so that men may be constrained to recognize our integrity. “

It doesn’t matter who you are, a manager a teacher, a parent, a student or a housewife, your duty before God and men is not only to be honest but to appear honest. It may take extra effort and prior planning to arrange a situation so that you do not put yourself in a compromising position. It may take sacrificing the easier way or doing what you want to do at a given moment in order to remain pure in appearance.

This does not mean though that you become bound by the consciences of others. Remember, the greatest act of love is to put others first and to place the honor of God before our own desires.

May you have a blessed week serving the Lord and submitting to our God’s commands out of obedient love to Him.

Blessings and Peace to You,

Pastor Mark

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