Skip to main content

Good vs. Evil

12 Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. 13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. 14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. (Romans 6:12-14 NLT)

Something always exerts control - it is the nature of how things work. The "control" or force of gravity exerts the pull that keeps us from flying away from the surface of the earth into the oblivion of outer space. Oxygen controls the ability for human life to continue to exist on this planet, for without the availability of oxygen we'd all die. Weaker are consumed by stronger, simply because they can have a greater "control" over the outcome of the chase. If control is the issue, then we ask the next big question - what control governs or exerts the biggest force of restraining or directing influence over our lives? 

The answer to this could be as varied as there are human beings walking the surface of this earth right now, but in general there are probably just a couple of "forces" governing our lives - truly directing us one way or another. These are often referred to as the forces of good and evil. In old movies, it was depicted by some dark force against a lighter one - the cowboy bandit with the dark hat and clothes against the one with the lighter hat and clothes. As the dark force of evil would plot against the lighter one of good, even the music would play on in some mysterious way, building until there was a crescendo of furious noise as the two would clash upon the screen. As the "force of good" made gains, the music would change to depict that all was well once again.

We don't live in a world where evil always dresses in dark colors, though. At times it isn't as easy to see what is working against us and there isn't any ominously building music to warn of impending doom! We find ourselves smack-dab in the middle of darkness sometimes without realizing we entered that place - all because evil has a manipulative way of cleverly disguising itself! The forces still exist - good and evil - but the ever changing "mask" of evil may not always make it plain to us which force is pulling for control in our lives. There are some simple things we can recognize though - every controlling influence of evil is "demanding" - it wants what it doesn't have or what it isn't about to stop pursuing.

God's goodness is a powerful "force", as well, but it is not a "forceful" thing - it is gentle, patient, and loving. It pulls, but it doesn't manipulate. It guides, but it doesn't force its way into our lives. God's goodness isn't going to demand, but it beckons. We can often tell the difference in the force which is in control in our lives by the characteristics of that force's "pull". God's grace pulls us toward peace - not chaos. It persuades us with truth, not lies. It moves upon us in order to move into us as a welcomed guest, not as a demanding and manipulative one. We might do well to consider the "force" at work in our lives in terms of the influence it is exerting - for God's influence is first of all kind, gentle, and restorative. Evil's influence demands its own way, takes away rather than restores or builds up, and takes what it wants instead of waiting to be invited in. Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean