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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Turning away

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." (Albert Einstein)  There are all manner of "evil devices" man can concoct in his imagination - too many to list.  We all have our own list of "evil" we might pursue on occasion - things we do with malicious intent, that are destructive in nature, and downright hateful at times.  None of us is above evil - although we may want to believe we are, the "root" of evil is there in all of us - it just doesn't get fed as often as some others might feed theirs, so it is not as "openly evident".

Walk away from the evil things in the world—just leave them behind, and do what is right, and always seek peace and pursue it. (I Peter 3:11 VOICE)

To walk away from anything, we have to be aware it exists in the first place.  We also need to recognize walking away from anything means there has been some sort of "appeal" to that object in the first place.  I often window shop, not because I am on the look-out for anything new for myself or the home, but because it is interesting to see what the newest trends are in clothing, style, and household goods.  The purpose of the window display is to get you to come into the store, isn't it? The people who display the stuff in the windows don't do it because they have time on their hands - they want us to be intrigued by what we see and enter into the store. Why? They know if we make it inside the doors, we have a better chance of spending money there!  The problem comes when you don't need anything new - you are just window shopping and get lured in.  You didn't set out to purchase, but the lure of the window display took you past those double doors!  You did not simply walk away - there was a pull which drew you in!

The same is true with evil in this world - it is on display, cleverly masked at times, but designed to lure us into things and situations we would be best to leave undiscovered, untested, and undone!  As Einstein said all those years ago, it isn't the evil in the world that is the problem - it is the people who do nothing about it when they recognize it!  Evil exists everywhere - in everyone.  What we do with what we recognize is what makes the difference!  When we take the evil within each of us to the foot of the cross, asking for the grace of God to remove it far from us, we are responding to evil in a way which makes sense.  When we turn our backs on the evil within, or the evil resident in another, we are simply condoning it and allowing it to multiply!

I am not much for politics these days, especially since it seems to be so sensationalized and over-popularized in the media.  I won't slam one candidate for office over another. I won't even listen to their debates, rhetoric, and "political blustering".  Why?  I honestly believe if the media would just stop sensationalizing all this political banter, the candidates would be forced to finally expose their agendas, making it easier to choose the right one.  I am one person, so I won't change the course of the media outlets across this nation, but I won't give into the lure to draw me into all the political hype and hullabaloo, either!  I won't be lured inside the "double doors"!

God's plan is for us to walk away from evil - leave behind those things which really don't belong in our lives - things and attitudes which shouldn't have influence over our minds, hearts, or spirits.  Then we are to seek peace and always pursue it first and foremost.  As long as we are operating in this realm, the lure of the things on display won't have the influence they hoped to exert in our lives.  It is when we are roped into the "glamour" of the "window display" that we are likely to head down the path toward "buying into" the thing we most want to avoid.  As long as we ignore evil, it will continue to grow out of control all around us.  Evil closely resembles weeds in the garden - let them stay there long enough and they will become the dominant force in the garden!  Sometimes what we leave behind - untouched, undiscovered, and untested - is the very thing we needed to walk away from, escaping the pull of whatever is trying to lure us into its snare.  

What we turn toward is important.  If it is continuously the cross before us and the world behind us, the outcome is likely to be very different.  When we turn our back on one thing, we expose ourselves to something else.  We need to be certain whatever we expose ourselves to is not just another form of evil!  Just sayin!