A good way to get in a wreck is to watch a wreck. Many wrecks have been caused by people “rubber-necking” an accident on the highway. So, staying away from a wreck can keep you from getting in a wreck. This same principle is true in regards to wickedness– thus Solomon’s warning to his son, and to us. Wherever wickedness is to be seen “Avoid it, pass not by it–pass away”.
Expounding on this verse, the daily devotion “A Good Thing” said of this subject:
“—Solomon writes to his son to encourage him to altogether avoid situations that could potentially entangle him in sin. The best approach, Solomon says, is to avoid the scene of wickedness altogether.
However, if you do have to engage such an environment (e.g. at work, at home, in the barracks), this wise father counsels: don’t be guilty of “rubber-necking” the sin around you. Avoid it, don’t go near it, get away from it as quickly as you can.
The magazine rack at the supermarket, with provocative poses on almost every cover? Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. The flirty co-worker at the office? Avoid him, pass not by her, turn from the temptation as quickly as possible and go on your way. The same wisdom applies to ungodly classmates, illicit entertainment, or unhealthy atmospheres.
Will others think you’re strange for so conscientiously avoiding sinful distractions and potential shipwrecks for your faith? Yes, especially if they are rushing headlong toward it themselves. But Solomon is not concerned with what others think—he is concerned about you!
Dear child, Solomon encourages, if you are caught up in any sin or temptation, turn from it immediately and change your path. There is no shame in repentance, but there is nothing but shame in the way of sin.