Romans 16:19-2019 “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. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”
‘Wise about what is good’ and ‘Innocent of evil‘ – sounds to be a queer mixture of words! – (as in NIV Translation)
‘Wise in what is good’ and ‘simple concerning evil.’ – again its the same thing! – (as in NKJV Translation)
What has ‘wisdom’ got to do with ‘good’ ? And what relation can ‘innocence’ have with ‘evil’?
But we know that Bible is true in its words and every word used implies a lot of rich meaning. Usually, according to ‘wordly’ definition, intelligence or wisdom is adorned on a smart person who manages to complete the task quickly and efficiently irrespective of the method adopted. So ‘doing or knowing good’ is not at all a factor. But the verse implies that ‘be wise about what is good’. Does it really make any sense?
Probably, Jesus’ parable of the wise and foolish men who built houses is a very good answer at this.
24 ““Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
By being wise about what is good or by doing good we may or may not be able to make great homes and own splendid cars on earth. But we will certainly be able to build a firm foundation for our heavenly home. The wise man knows that the life on earth is not what matters but the life in heaven with Christ Jesus and we must strive to make it the best! If we are wise we will be quick to listen to the teachings of Jesus and obey them. Even our house on earth is not safe if it is not on true foundations as it will easily fall under the wind if quick and easy methods are followed more than the ‘right way’. (Just like the man who built his house on sand: Mathew 7:26,27)
Next part is even more queer, ‘innocent of what is evil’ !
Hello! What is this innocence in evil? I will be treated like a kid then!
But this verse is very important and in a world with so much evil, it has a lot of significance. People around may make a lot of fun about believers when they don’t engage in the sinful activities of others. But the Bible encourages us to be ‘innocent’. We often hear terms like, ‘He is a kid, he don’t know anything!’ or ‘She is a small child, she won’t understand! ‘ Sometimes as believers we may feel left out in conversations but take heart because bible encourages us! 🙂
Our God of peace will soon crush Satan underneath our feet! We have a promise from Christ!- until then let us be wise about what is good and stay innocent of evil… God will surely reward us! (But let not our eyes rest on reward alone while doing good. May the love of Christ encourage us!)
God bless you…