9b Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Since we are commanded to love without dissimulation, should we love all and sundry indiscriminately? Does love demand that we need to accept all without discretion? Can a loving person refuse to receive another in view of sin, falsehood and non-repentance?
Most certainly! Concerning charity, Paul declared in 1 Corinthians 13:5-6 that it “doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth”. Clearly, Scripture teaches us that true love not only recognises the difference between truth and falsehood, good and evil, righteousness and sin, but it also clearly discriminates against and rejects those that are false, evil and sinful.
We are instructed to “Abhor that which is evil”. The word “abhor” means to hate, to turn from, or to avoid. The word “evil” here refers to malicious, ungodly belief and conduct. We must hate sin, no matter in what form it appears. Whether it is in thought or in action, be it trivial or great, personal or public, covert or overt, we must hate sin. No matter how sin may appear, we should not tolerate it.
It is not only unwise, but also incongruent with Christian charity, to even wish to accommodate sin. We are told to “Depart from evil, and do good” (Psalm 34:14). In Psalm 97:10, Scripture commands us, “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil”. Let us not condone sin in our thought, word or action. If we ever fall into sin, let us repent as soon as we realise the evil in our ways, and depart from it.
On the other hand, we are exhorted to “cleave to that which is good”. The word “cleave” denotes the act of attaching or uniting firmly to something or someone. It indicates active partaking and participation. We ought to adhere to all that God’s Word reveals as truth. We should love to cleave to all things that are good in the sight of God. We must relentlessly pursue truth and righteousness with increasing fondness. Steadfast, constant pursuit of truth and holiness must characterise every Christian. May our hearts and hands be always devoted to propagating His truth and doing His righteousness. Let us walk “in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life” (Luke 1:75).