Vexed by Ungodliness

Bill Brinkworth

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” I Corinthians 10:13

When given a choice by his Uncle Abraham, Lot chose the choicest of lands to raise his cattle and family (Gen. 13:8-11).  He left Abraham (named Abram at the time) the less appealing land, and kept the “best” for himself.

His selfish pick may have appeared to be the best choice; however, there was one important matter Lot did not consider in picking where he would live.  He did not consider what his soon-to-be neighbors would be like.  As it turned out, the place he chose to live near the twin cities: Sodom and Gomorrha.  These cities were known for their rampant sin, particularly homosexuality.  It was there that the righteous man, Lot, chose to live.

It was not long before he was involved in the government of the city (Gen. 19:1, 9).  He was not only living among wickedness, but he was involved in the choices made to help the city being managed. Shortly, his constant exposure to godlessness and sin affected Lot. The Bible says that he was “… vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked … in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;” (II Peter 2:7-8). The part of Lot that wanted to live and please the Lord was “irritated, harassed, teased, and disturbed” by the lifestyle he was allowing himself and his family to be exposed.

As a Christian, we usually cannot live on top of a mountain, away from the world and all sin.  Most of the time we have to live around sin; see it in the workplace; hear it on the television, and be exposed to its consequences and involvement wherever we go.  However, if we are not wary of it, and do all we can to limit its exposure we too will be “vexed” by sin.  It will wear on us; and if we are not careful, sin will be commonplace to us.  We will be hardened against it.  Seeing or hearing sin will not bother us like it used to. The spiritual part of us will be desensitized to sin’s evilness.  If we are not careful, we will even be involved in it; thinking that it is normal, because “everyone is doing it.”

Despite what the unsaved world is doing, sin is, and always will be, wrong.  The only protection from being desensitized by it, or being involved in it, is to do one’s best to avoid its contact.  If you are vexed by filthy language on television, there may be some channels you should never listen to again, or you may have to stop watching the “hellevision.”  Filthy words creeping into your own language? Maybe there are some influencing foul-mouths that you should no longer listen to or associate with. Seeing things your eyes should not be seeing on the internet? Limit where you browse, or maybe you will just have to stay off the internet all together. Dirty images you have already viewed plaguing your thought-life? Avoid further looks and recite Scripture verses, particularly about what you are thinking.  It is difficult to have the clean Word of God and filthiness in your thought-life at the same time. The filthiness will flee!

The key to keeping a holy, unsoiled life and testimony for the Lord is to separate (II Cor. 6:17) from the world.  It is possible to remain undefiled in this ever-increasing sinful world. If we purpose in our hearts to not be defiled by ungodliness in this world, the Lord will do His part to help us.  He will give the believer “a way to escape” sin’s vexing grasp; if the believer wants it!

“If you can get along with the world, then you are out of step with God!”
— Dr. Harold Sightler

This article was featured in The Bible View #329.

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