Wise about what is good, innocent about what is evil

Romans 16:19, NIV: “Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.” “innocent about what is evil.” The Greek word here is akeraios, which can also mean “unmixed, pure, or simple.

I originally didn’t understand this verse very well, I thought I already knew many dark things so I’m already not innocent about what is evil.

But later I heard a podcast, 翻转电台flipradio, they talked about this verse and I learned something new and interesting. He interpreted it this way: for much daily stuff we actually know what is right and what is wrong, this verse means we need to focus our eyes on how to make it and how to be better, what we can do and it will be good in God’s eyes, instead of creating reasons to justify why there’s unnecessary evil or why it’s reasonable to do something not good enough.

For most topics in our daily life, sleep, diet, difficult relationships, bad habits, etc., there are usually two tendencies: one is to think of I have done wrong or I can do better; one is to justify why it’s not my fault at all or to defend the current situation.

Humans have enough ‘wisdom’ to argue things and to create reasons or more likely lies to justify any things. Nobody can’t find reasons to justify why he has done that and to prove why it’s absolutely right in his position, no matter it’s a tiny bad habit or something serious like drug addiction, or even murder. The worst homicides and the most atrocious massacres in history often have their own best justifications themselves.

Better diet, natural wake up, show up on time, make peace with people around us, don’t tell lies. I don’t even need any other complex reasons to justify all these things, it’s as simple as that. Wise about what is good, innocent about what is evil: If we know what is right, the only thing we think of and put our wisdom on, is how to make it based on where we stand, not argue another way around: bring other different topics or general replies, oh but the environment, nobody is perfect, can’t pursue all things together, need to prioritize this or that first, oh I have to lie because I fear this and that, you have your personal way and I have mine. All these replies are general and suitable for any topic and go in only one direction: refusal. Behind it, I simply feel the evil.