Right after Paul tells us that our love for others must “be genuine.” He follows with this command: “Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good” (Romans 12:9).
I don’t use the word abhor often, so I thought it would be good to refresh my memory as to what does it mean to abhor something? According to Merriam-Webster, to abhor is ‘to regard with extreme repugnance: to feel hatred or loathing for.”
Read the headlines today or think about some of the problems our world is facing and it is easy to quickly come up with a list of things that are repugnant. Even in a world where there are many “who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20), there are many clear evils in our world.
Tozer’s quote above fits with Paul’s writing here, because the difference between what is good or holy and what is evil is a matter of health and sickness.
Good things bring health, so holding fast to what is good, enhances relationships at work and at home. What is good builds up our society and culture. The good is what God calls good and it ultimately brings our health into our lives.
Not so, for what is evil. As Tozer said, “evil is a moral sickness that must end ultimately in death.” I think we can all agree that murder is evil, but the problem with evil is that it often doesn’t seem all that bad, at least initially.
It may be a distraction or the first step toward some kind of immorality. We may even rationalize our behavior, but in the end, the moral sickness brings about its consequences of dead relationships, broken promises, and eventually spiritual death.
So, don’t let your guard down. Abhor the evil you confront and hold fast to everything that is good.