I can’t breathe…
If you’re like I am, you may be tired of the rampant evil in our world.
But did you know God created the horrendous evil we see around us? Yes, I did just say that…
Since God is all about love, joy and peace, why would I say He created these atrocities?
Now before you think I am blaming God for the wickedness in our world, let me explain. In Isaiah 45:7 the Lord declares, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”
I’m not the one saying God created evil, God is.
Why would God, who embodies all love, dominates all power, and desires all peace, create evil?
When God created light, this also created darkness, the absence of light. Because there is good, there is also evil. Because there is sight, there is blindness. There is death because there is life. When God created a path to heaven, the path to hell originated.
I believe God is saying He created the possibility of evil (or calamity) to exist when He gave free will to humanity. However, evil, tragedy and hell is never God’s fault, but man’s. Especially since He gave us another option.
Because God created evil, there is much we can learn from it, in our own lives. We’d think it is preposterous for someone to discredit the very nature and character of God by the fact that He created evil. After all, His many attributes and character clearly show He hates evil and is a good Father. Because God is God, He does not possess evil of any extent.
God hates evil. But He delights in redeeming.
In my personal walk with the Lord, I have always seen that when God allows something I perceive as “bad,” He ultimately offers me something good in return. This is the very nature of God. God is all love. And He loves to redeem. But it is always up to me to determine whether my “bad” will ever become my “good.”
Think about it. Would we be as grateful for our health, if we wouldn’t know how easy it is to lose it? Because of darkness, are we not more readily drawn to light? Without pain, we are less likely to appreciate the absence of it.
What can we learn from this ominous presence of darkness? And how can we, through the power of Christ, overcome it?
It’s not hard to see all the evil in our world. It’s active presence can be clearly felt. The civil unrest, destruction of property, stealing and brutal killings clearly depict these iniquitous behaviors.
Each of us have struggled, in some way, to make sense of what is happening to our world. We have wondered how we can make a difference. All these efforts are good, but we need to do more.
We overcome evil when we look inward rather than outward.
My friend, it is always easier to focus on someone else’s darkness rather than our own. Because our Accuser is consistently and actively accusing us, we, in return, accuse others. We, by nature, are prone to curse rather than bless. We are more likely to see someone’s wrongs than their rights.
Many of us would be devastated if others would judge us as harshly as we judge them. Our accusations, short responses, belittling tones, and harsh words laced with evil come from deep within our own hearts. But when we focus on changing the evil within our own lives, good most certainly wins.
We overcome evil when we focus on others’ goodness rather than on their faults.
Many of us forget that God’s children are broken, fallible individuals who are simply trying to obey and follow Him, in spite of our brokenness. Although our desire is to possess more good than evil, we will struggle with our evil nature until we die. None of us will ever walk out our faith perfectly, no matter how much we desire to. Let’s freely offer the same amount of grace and love that we personally desire to each of our brothers and sisters. Because we are created in His image and possess the breath of the Father within us, each of us are blessed with His goodness. As believers, our intent and desire should be to recognize and draw that goodness out of everyone.
We overcome evil when we readily bless each of God’s children.
Recently, I’ve been listening online to a secular counselor as he was working with his clients. No matter what the wrong attitudes or actions that were demonstrated, he always looked for and blessed the good these negative traits illustrated. For example, a man was struggling with a drinking problem and they were able to identify his struggles stemmed from a poor marriage. Looking for the goodness within his heart, the counselor was able to confirm that relationships were extremely important to this man. He truly loved his wife which made their struggling relationship so difficult.
Obviously, as believers, we recognize our need to find Jesus rather than the goodness of our own hearts. Without seeing our own deceitfulness and evil, we won’t see our need for God. However, God’s word clearly depicts that we should focus on blessing others rather than cursing. In the story of creation, God declared, “It is very good,” after He created mankind. Man fell and became broken after this, yet the life of Jesus clearly radiates God’s heart of forgiveness and redemption. As Christ imitators, we should exemplify the same.
In any situation, we can address and focus on either the good or the bad. Emphasizing the negative or the positive. We see what we choose to see.
We overcome evil when we become less critical and more forgiving.
As we walk closer in step with Jesus, we can choose to focus on the light we see in our brothers and sisters rather than on the darkness. As we become stronger than the evil, we become quicker to forgive and slower to criticize. Not only is the “world” choosing to point accusing fingers and cast blame, so are many within the “church.”
Why are so called “Christians” just as quick to make accusations as non-believers? Can we not choose to focus on the good things someone has done, rather than on what we’d like to see them do differently?
We overcome evil when we bless each other in spite of race, position, past failures or disagreements.
To bring this down to what our country is currently facing, let’s talk a bit about how “blessing others” applies to this situation. Recently, our focus has been drawn to the “bad cops” in our society. Justice is being served to the officers involved in the George Floyd case, so why should we join the accusing voices instead of focusing on and expressing sincere gratefulness for all the great police who serve us on a daily basis? Many are putting their lives at risk for our safety and peace of mind. Yet, many are focused on the minority who abuse their power.
We have personally been at the receiving end of a few abusive doctors over the years. But it is absurd if we don’t appreciate and honor all the great physicians who have saved our children’s lives and continue to care for us.
Who of us is guilty of racism? Racism and discrimination is belittling a group of people by a color of skin, having a superior attitude over or by judging someone according to the worst offense, a minority within their group, have committed. It’s time to stop blaming others. We must deal with the discrimination and racism within our own hearts.
We overcome evil when we stop attacking others.
As Christians, we are called to share truth, expose and tear down wickedness in high places. Yet, there is a difference between exposing the darkness and the agenda of the Enemy and attacking those who consider themselves to be brothers and sisters.
Isn’t it sad that we are quick to share what we don’t agree with to individuals who we have never blessed? We’ve had a few individuals telling us things like… “We’ve been blessed by your family and ministry over the years, but we don’t appreciate the stand you’re taking on this.” And…“I’ve followed your blog for several years, but this is the first time I’ve commented. But I want to tell you that I disagree about…”
I’m not saying it isn’t appropriate to share what we disagree with. But isn’t it sad when the only time a person speaks out is to share negative comments? Why do we find it easier to remain silent about the things we can bless, the light we do see, yet can so swiftly point out what we disagree with?
I recently received a sweet note and words of affirmation from a dear person who had no idea of the few negative accusations I had recently received. I’m sure she doesn’t always agree with everything in my blogs, but her words of blessing contained life-giving bursts of fresh air, challenging me to grow even more.
There is nothing that steals your “air” quite like negative statements coming from those supposedly on your own team. We’d never think of kneeling on someone’s neck and squeezing the breath out of them, yet we are prone to doing this very thing to our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord. We can disagree with individuals, but should never attack their character or speak harshly to them because of these disagreements.
We overcome evil when we allow God to expose and eliminate areas of darkness in our own hearts.
As everyone keeps saying, “We need to deal with this evil. It has to stop now!” I agree. Let’s do it. But it must begin with ME.
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)