Thursday, October 19, 2017

How Are We to Deal With Evil?

How are we to deal with evil? Evil is showing its ugly face in the form of random shootings, sexual assault, abuses of power, riots. I've grabbed these categories all from recent news events. Who can forget waking up to hearing there was shooting in Las Vegas with approximately 60 casualties and numerous injuries? My chiropractor's daughter was supposed to have been in attendance but sold her tickets, but my brother's boss was one of the people fleeing the arena for their lives.

Then there was the revelation of a major Hollywood producer whose actions finally
caught up with him. He seemed to have been an equal opportunity offender for not only did he sexually harass and assault female employees, but he was a volatile bully with everyone. The fallout from this producer's fall was the beginning of a startling trend on social media: #metoo which had millions of tweets of mostly females and some males detailing their sexual abuse at the hands of someone else. There are many more instances of evil, but you get the picture.

Not to minimize the initial meaning behind #metoo, but aren't we all #metoo? Have we not all been ravished by sin? Is any of us unscathed? The volume of the #metoo hashtag shows the amount of hurt in this world for where there's evil, there is hurt. Evil is all around us; it's pervasive seeming to be more in-your-face today.

So how do we deal with evil?

Know God - He came to bind up the brokenhearted; he came to heal. Don't just know of Him but really get to know him - it will make all the difference. I know some of you are tired of hearing Christians spout the word of God as an answer to every problem but as humans, we clearly don't have the answers. We've tried laws, rules, and governments. We appeal to people to be nice and respectful. We try everything, but evil persists. The only person that can conquer evil and give us what we need to deal with it is God. I think many are turned off because these are just words from so many; they don't see the Christians making a difference. They don't see us standing up for what's right. They don't see us being brave. They see Christians as being just like them but we're not. Also because God is sovereign, we struggle with the why behind evil. I don't have all the answers, but I do know as Christians, we have a power that enables us to navigate this life differently, powerfully and victoriously. Get to know God.

Acknowledge that evil exists in this world.  As C.S. Lewis says, "pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world,"  but don't let evil make you evil or callous.

Don't be vengeful.  Overcome evil with good. We can be appalled by the actions of evil while at the same time never giving up on that person. Perhaps we give up too quickly on others. There's a parable in the Bible (Matthew 13:24–30; Matthew 13:36–43) where it's very hard to separate the wheat (the good people) from the tares (evil). They're right next to each other and sometimes in our attempt to get rid of the tares, we damage the wheat also.

When evil is clearly recognizable, confront it head-on. If we do nothing we are complicit. So speak up, speak out, prevent actions. With God's help do what you can to confront and prevent it. This means taking a risk, stepping out, being bold.  Love your enemies.... Luke 6:35

Display empathy.  Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. In our weeping, be there and demonstrate the love that makes a difference to this hurting world.

We can always pray.  David prayed about his enemies in Psalms 109; it is an intense prayer. As we pray, like David we have to ensure that our motives and hearts are pure. The Psalmist was innocent but his enemies were not. In this Psalm, the evidence of evil was through their words; words can do great damage and are great heart indicators. But besides words, they are also evil actions which all go toward wreaking havoc and confusion while instilling pain and hurt. David prayed but he was not vengeful; he left the righting of the wrongs up to God to handle in his time. You can pray fiercely but your actions can still be gracious and kind. Praying like David did, dissipates the need for vengeance and changes the focus to grace and mercy.

Know that God is still in control. Clearly, we're not and Someone else is. God's timing is applicable for both good and evil. We don't understand it and sometimes we want swift vengeance. As in the case of the Hollywood producer and many others how applicable the statement: be sure your sins will find you out. God is not slack concerning any of his promises. 2 Peter 3:9

Do the impossible. We say love the sinner and hate the sin but this is only possible with God's help because when we think of the evil that abounds it becomes hard for us to separate a person from their sin or their actions. It is a supernatural feat that is accomplished by the Holy Spirit to hate WHAT (not who) is evil and cling to that which is good. Romans 12:9

In the end, there will be no more evil, as the Bible declares by explaining the Parable of the wheat and the tares, "at the end of the world, I'm going to remove everything that causes sin and people who do evil, so that the righteous can shine in their Father's kingdom." In the interim, while we live on this earth as Christians we can't be oblivious, we can't be vengeful, and we can't write people off. We have to be different in a loving way as we navigate the evils in this world. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, may we as Christians continue to make a difference in this world.

Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. Romans 12:21

Are you relying on God's strength to help you deal with evil?


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  1. Amazing post. Thanks for writing this! And yes, I'm certainly relying on God's strength to deal with all this evil. I cannot do it alone. It is just too much.

  2. Oooh, I'd wondered where the "me too" thing came from. Thanks for sharing that info. Great list, Nylse. I'm so thankful for power the Holy Spirit affords us to live apart from sin. (Not that we do it all the time, but also thankful for the mercy He shows!) Thanks for sharing. ((hug))


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