Spending time in prison was one of the best things for me as a pastor. It made me realize all of the wickedness I had been sheltered from as a youth and on into my adult years. As I walked down one hallway, I saw newspaper clippings which highlighted various musicians and music groups. (In case you are wondering, no, I was not in prison as an inmate; but I was visiting with three pastor friends to participate in one of the prison’s ministries.) One of the guides narrated the different images posted on the walls, but I had no idea what he was talking about. I had never heard of the personalities depicted in the articles because I had never been exposed to their genre of music. Call me naïve and sheltered if you want, but I’m grateful for it. Thanks to my parents, I didn’t grow up with many of the distractions which caused a spiritual hindrance to some of my peers.

We don’t have to experience the world’s culture to become well-adjusted. If we are wise, we will learn from the painful experiences of others who have tasted the world’s emptiness for themselves, and we will take note of examples in Scripture which prove its wickedness. Likewise, we don’t have to experience sin to know it is deadly. We see its negative effects all around us as proof. God does not want us to put our heads in the sand like the ostrich and pretend the evil around us does not exist, but He wants us to maintain a baby’s simplicity and innocence toward evil and embrace what is right. This is not “missing out,” but rather it is living to the fullest.

Are you wise unto that which is good and simple concerning evil? The answer lies in the moral quality of your private life, and it will be visible in your public life. Your friends and family will know it, as will your boss, co-workers, and classmates. Embrace what is right, and God will make sure you don’t miss out on any of the good things He has in store for you.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.