Themes in Proverbs: Corrupt Influences

Proverbs 4:14–15

14 Do not enter the path of the wicked

And do not proceed in the way of evil men.

15 Avoid it, do not pass by it;

Turn away from it and pass on.


The charge given by Solomon is serious. If we are to be wise, we must heed this simple but often difficult command – avoid the wicked. Some practical steps in obeying this command:

Identify the wicked

Identify the way of the wicked

Identify the alternative

First, we must take notice of those people who are living evil, wicked lives. This can sometimes be the hardest part admittedly because those people might be loved ones. The wicked ones might even be family. It is hard to see those things, in this case people, who are right in front of us.

Second, the way of wickedness must be identified. It is not enough to avoid those who are evil but Christians must also avoid the way that evil men choose. Think about where evil men & women congregate, where they meet. We must turn away from situations that will lead us into sin.

Third, avoiding wicked men and their paths is only half the battle. Christians have to identify the alternative. For some, the Saturday night out drinking and dancing with friends will be replaced with time with members of the Lord’s church. Maybe, time spent looking at pornography will be spent in deep study of God’s word. The take home message is this: It is great that you are avoiding wicked people and wicked ways but fill your time with things that will glorify God or more than likely you will find yourself slipping back into the grasp of corrupt influences.