some people we must avoid (Reflections on the Psalms Chapter 9)

Are we really supposed to avoid some people? Lewis wrestles with this problem in chapter 9 of Reflections on the Psalms. He recognized that the Psalmist did not merely talk about avoiding sin, but avoiding people who committed sin. He wonders if this is a kind of snobbish spirituality. Are these writers just being elitist? Are they saying, ‘not only do I avoid sinning, I avoid others who sin as well’ out of arrogance?

One point Lewis makes is that we ought to avoid the successfully wicked. We should help those who are down and out because of their wickedness. These people, Lewis says, need our ministry. But there is another kind of sinful person, the successful sinner, that tempts us to follow in their ways. These people should be avoided because they provoke in us a desire to be like them, or at least to accept what they do because we admire them.

I Corinthians tells us, “Do not be deceived, bad company corrupts good morals.” Some people influence us. We want to do what they do and live like they live. Over and over, the Bible tells us to avoid people like this because of what they might do to us. We cannot pull them up, they will only pull us down.

In our attempts to reach out and make a difference, we must be careful that we do not wind up consumed by the very world we are trying to help. Sometimes that means we have to avoid certain types of people because their sin attracts us. We must avoid some people, not because they are less than we are, but simply because we are weak and easily tempted.

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One Response to “some people we must avoid (Reflections on the Psalms Chapter 9)”

  1. Carolyn Rauh says:

    very informative… thank you!

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