“Blessed is the man who does not…stand in the way of sinners” Psalm 1:1c
[This, I believe, is to watch what sinners do and desire to do the same. This is so common, so easy, so attractive: TV, movies, music, shopping, catalogues, colleagues, books, magazines, newspapers, the internet—all call us to stop and view, look and lust.
It is so natural to do this–but to walk in the way of Jesus is so much better. “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left, keep your foot from evil” (Pro. 4:25,26).
This verse really helps me in the Middle Eastern city where we lived. There were so many attractive women here, especially among the multitude of college students. So I guarded myself by looking straight ahead , often looking down, rather than around. This shielded me from temptation and destructive thoughts.
One day, however, at the photographers, I failed in this, looking twice at an unhealthy picture; forgive me, Lord, help me to heed instead to the voice of the Spirit, and stand not in the way of sinners.
One strategy I used to protect myself from this temptation was to have my wife look through the local newspaper before I did. She would either tear out pages with semi-pornographic pictures or tell me something like, “Don’t look at the fashion section.” These pictures were no temptation for her, but could easily trigger wrong thoughts for me!
For other people it might be looking at jewelry, furniture magazines, or others’ cars of those who have more money and envying them. We each need to know our weakness and guard against it.
Praise you, O Lord, that you are a forgiving God and work to bring me back to your path so I can run the race with you and stay off the way of sinners.]