(Romans 16:19 ….but I want you to be wise in what is good, and innocent in what is evil)
The word innocent is described in the dictionary as free from moral wrong; without sin; pure.
Sometimes we read this verse and think we aren’t supposed to know much about evil. Obviously we aren’t to participate in evil, but to be able to be wise in what is good, we do need to know about evil.
Jeremiah 4:22 says “My people are fools; they do not know me. They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good.”.
To me this says that it is more natural for us to do evil. We were born into a world of sin and our natural man will more times than not go for evil over good. Through Christ, we are new creatures in Him, but our old evil nature never disappears during this life on earth.
In the military, the enemy is studied so that proper plans can be made to overcome and defeat them. It’s the same in the spiritual world, we need to know how the enemy moves and works against us.
We need to remember that the evil nature is still within us and we need to be constantly aware of where that can lead. We need to understand our enemy and plan ahead on what we need to do to overcome the temptations when they come.
God’s words tell us in Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell (think) on these things.
I truly think our biggest battles and obstacles are fought in our mind. We need to be aware of evil and what it can do, but we need to focus our thoughts on the good.
Only through Christ can we overcome, only through Christ can we do good. By spending time in God’s presence, praying and reading His words can we learn what is good and have the power to overcome evil.