Have you ever heard that phrase before? Maybe one of your friends was doing something weird with their condiments or they were eating frog legs or something. Perhaps they were telling you of some amazing experience they had with an extreme sport. People use the phrase many times and in many different contexts. In some situations, it may be wisdom, but in others, it is pure folly.
Think of your favorite hobby, favorite dessert, or favorite music. Imagine, if you stubbornly refused to try it, you would have missed out on something great! But now that you have tried it, you can enjoy just one more of God’s blessings. From this perspective, “Don’t knock it till you try it” can seem like a pretty good life’s motto.
But it isn’t always wisdom.
In Proverbs 4, Solomon gives this wisdom, “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.” He describes the life of the wicked as one that is restless, violent, and in darkness. In contrast, the life of the just man is, “as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”
Solomon’s charge is clear. Stay away from wickedness. Trust me, you don’t need to try sin to know that it’s harmful, just like you don’t need to try jumping off a skyscraper to know it will kill you. Sometimes, it’s a simple matter of wisdom. God knows what is good for us and what is not. If we insist on “trying” evil so we can experience it, we aren’t like some wise open-minded philosopher. Instead, we are like the stubborn 5 year old who shoves his hand on the stove because he doesn’t believe what mommy said.
So next time you hear “Don’t knock it till you try it” use some discretion. If it’s a simple matter of preference, why not? Go out and try something new! If it is morally wrong or ethically shady, I leave you with the wisdom of Solomon: “Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.”