When we hear the word “embrace” it invokes feelings of love, tenderness, & intimacy. It reminds us of snuggling with our kids or hugging a loved one or close friend. The things we embrace tell a lot about who we are. We elevate those that we embrace. They are important to us! They are the ones we love. They are those that are most important to us and we communicate our affection for them by our embrace.
As heart warming as an embrace is, God issues a warning about those things or even those people we embrace. In Ezekial 14:3 God sends a message to Ezekial about the leaders around him. It says “Son of man, these leaders have set up idols in their hearts. They have embraced things that will make them fall into sin…”
As I read that verse this morning it jumped out at me. Maybe I am not actively sinning at the moment but what are things that I am embracing that will cause me to fall into sin. For some it could be money. For others it might be embracing people that will lead to worldly success. *(Please note that success in itself is not worldly) For others it could be alcohol. For some of you it might be the friends you are embracing that will eventually cause you to fall into sin. That’s why Proverbs is so full of instruction and warning about the company we keep.
What I want you to understand is this. Even things that may neutral or non-sins can lead to destruction if they are embraced. So why embrace them? Why get as close to them as possible? Scripture tells us to do what with sin? Get as close as we can? NO! It says run from evil. Abhor what is evil. If you were to look up the word “abhor” in webster’s dictionary it would give you these descriptive words ;”to hate, abominate, despise, detest, execrate, loathe”. As Christians we do not try to walk the line, we run from and get as far away from sin as possible. So if something is a grey issue is it okay to embrace? Well, from my study of scripture I would say no even if for no other reason than it might offend a brother. You cannot pursue both holiness and nominalness. I know its not a word but I think it should be. I would define it as the act of pursuing nominal living or walking the line.
Forgive me if I have been ranting. My purpose is never to spew opinions but to disperse truth and encourage biblical living. If we are called to be a set apart people of God and called to holiness we must be careful what we embrace. The things we embrace say a lot about us. What are you embracing? Are they drawing you closer to Christ or is it possible that they could lead you to fall into sin? Embrace the things of God. I want to challenge you with I Thessalonians 5:21 . It says “test everything and hold fast to what is good.” Embrace by all means! But be careful what you embrace.