Proverbs 17:4 (ESV) An evildoer listens to wicked lips, and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.

There is a symbiotic relationship between those who do evil and those who talk evil. Evildoers do not want to listen to sound advice. People who do what is wrong will willfully listen to advice that is also wrong.

We love to hear that we are right. We want to hear justification for doing what is wrong. If we can hear things that make the wrong we do sound right then we will. There is no end to the advice that gives credence to evil. We need to give ear to what is good and right and sound and just.

An evildoer will not long listen to the Word of God. It condemns him. Much better in his mind to listen to what makes him look good. This is our natural state. It takes a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit to get us wanting to hear the good word. We need to pray for those enslaved by their evil deeds and encouraged by the wicked lips of a world that loves to justify itself.

We also need to remember that we who believe did not come to Christ because we were more willing to hear than others. We came to believe because God did a change in us. If left to our own, we would have turned away from the Gospel and rejected it like so many others do. How we need, in light of this verse to hear the words of the Father about Jesus at His baptism. “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased – Hear Him. What a miracle responding to Christ is!

But we need to heed the warning that is part of this verse in Proverbs. Do not think that you are immune from paying attention to wicked advice. When you sin, and you do, you open yourself up to temptations to sin more, to justify yourself, to cover up. As James reminds us, when an evil desire is conceived it gives birth to sin and grows until it produces death (James 1:14-15). It needs to be dealt with immediately and decisively.

What are you listening to? What advice, what entertainment choices, what ideas do you open yourself up to that encourage you to do that which God forbids and neglect to do that which God commands? Be like the godly man of Psalm 1 who did not listen to the counsel of the wicked or stand with them or learn from them. If you do, the Proverb that heads up this article says that you are an evildoer and liar. Don’t allow such words to be a description of you. God has so much better for you.