A couple of definitions first:
- When it says “evildoers” I think it is helpful to think of those who do not seek to have Jesus as the meaning for their life. I say this not because I think a Christian is any less intrinsically wicked than someone who isn’t a Christian but because the existence and acts of a Christian are covered by the love of God.
- When it says ‘delicacies’ I am thinking of acts that seem attractive and tasty when you put yourself before others. The two ‘delicacies’ that spring to mind immediately are gossiping and complaining.
Ok, so you’ve got those definitions in your head. Now read this verse:
“Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies.”
One of my daily battles seems to be to stop being sucked into the negative talking of those around me. I find it incredibly destructive and trying to keep my head above it exhausts me as if I’m treading water in a vat of golden syrup.
I find the verse in 2 Corinthians that says ‘do not be yoked with unbelievers’ helpful. Usually people use this in the context of marriage but I think they are wrong to do that here as Paul does not refer to marriage in this passage. I need to remember that I am not ‘yoked’ to anybody who is speaking negatively or gossiping. I am totally free to remove myself from that situation or even to ask people to stop talking like that.
The thing that stops me from taking such steps is that I am a people pleaser and I yoke myself to others and feel I need to join in with whatever they are doing to be accepted. Instead of being fixed to other humans I need to keep my eyes fixed on the Sovereign God.