“Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
When Google was started, the two founders stated openly that the company would be run on the principle of “Do No Evil”. When I first heard it, I thought it a good mantra as there is much evil that one can do with a search business. Just imagine what turmoil would erupt if someone famous and important had their search queries over the last year made public? Yes, to do that would be doing something very evil. But, there are plenty of other areas that Google has been faced with that weren’t as obvious and today many inside and outside of the company question whether or not “Do no evil” still holds up as a defensible philosophy. Maybe they would have done better avoiding that, which even appears evil.
We are called to live to a higher standard. It’s not good enough to just do no evil, we have to also abstain from even the appearance of evil. It’s a tall order, but one that if we take seriously and ask Him to support and protect us up from those things that have an air and appearance of not being good, He will point those things out to us so that we are aware. This way we don’t put on the wrong appearances.
Reference: 1 Thessalonians 5:22 (King James Version)