Proverbs 25: 26
Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
When evil is unchallenged, it spreads and prospers. It does not go away or does not remain conveniently penned up. By its very nature, evil pushes boundaries and tests our resolve. If we do not stand up to it, evil will eventually win the day.
Psalm 12: 8 says this, “On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among the children of man.” Evil is relentless and will always look for opportunities and any weak links. Satan prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).
Things always get worse when people ignore or retreat from evil. It is like the classic case of the schoolyard bully who will keep pushing other kids around until someone puts him in his place.
It is tempting to compromise or give ground when confronting evil, especially when the alternative is possible violence or rocking an otherwise placid boat. It may be easy to ignore small things and sweep them under the rug. But with each little surrender, evil only grows stronger.
Surrender to evil not only weakens the righteous person, it may also ruin him. The righteous person is negatively affected by the compromise and it undermines an otherwise solid gospel witness. The righteous person becomes like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain in the eyes of those witnessing the surrender to evil.
When we are challenged by evil or tempted to compromise, let us look to the one who never gave in or compromised. Let us look to Jesus, our champion, who has defeated all evil and who can save and rescue us from evil. Jesus can also give us strength and power when we feel overwhelmed and tempted to surrender. He can turn the muddied spring of our witness into clear, fresh water that can help destroy evil and encourage our brothers and sisters in the faith.