By James A. Washington, Publisher of the Dallas Weekly News, NNPA Newswire Contributor
I have often found myself wrestling with the concepts and the realities of good and evil. If you believe in God and His goodness, power and the righteousness of Jesus Christ, then it follows that you must also believe in Satan and his earthbound inherent ‘evilness.’ If this is true, then it is the height of ignorance or hypocrisy that we as human beings follow a course of action consistent with one belief and act totally inconsistent with and contrary to that same belief.
We concede to the reality that evil exists. As a matter of fact, our civil laws and subsequent penalties are there to protect us against criminal, abhorrent and, yes, even evil behavior.
Hence, what I am merely recognizing here is that the counterbalance of this fact ought to be a set of behaviors, or at least a set of professed beliefs, that confirm the reality of God, the good stuff.
Unfortunately, it has been my experience — and at times my behavior — that evil demands action, while ‘Godness’ gets a whole lot of lip service. I believe this is true because with all of our flaws and faults (sinfulness), we’ve gotten used to functioning in a world somewhat controlled by the evil one.
Christians must recognize that Satan has power in the secular world.
Thanks to him, many of us have become numb to those things that demonstrate his existence in this world where we temporarily reside. Fortunately, when we come to Christ, we are able to put some perspective on all of this as we begin to see the contrast between good and evil in our own lives. That’s when I believe you finally get it.
By putting ourselves in perspective to Christ’s ultimate sacrifice, it becomes clear where we fit in this struggle between good and evil. We are the ultimate prize.
To the victor goes us.
Fortunately for us, we have some say in the clubhouse celebration. Once you accept the truth of good and evil in the context of God and the devil, the rules of engagement are clear. In this game the ball (us) has a say in who wins the game.
Can you imagine any athletic event where the ball actually participates as an independent active component? Well, the truth is we are that ball in this high-stake game for our very own souls. Imagine that. We can stack the deck in our favor. But it can’t be happenstance. It must be deliberate, and we must be constant in making sure that the ball takes favorable bounces throughout the game.
To be sure, with this in mind, Christ has given us the game plan we need to insure victory. “He who believes in me….shall never die.” John 11:25-26. That’s it. It’s all about belief.
When Jesus says in John 16:8-9, “when He (the Counselor/Holy Spirit) comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin because men do not believe in me…” He is telling us that the biggest threat to our own salvation is disbelief. You see belief in Christ brings about condemnation of Satan and Satan-like things i.e., evil. It must follow.
Now we are armed and ready for this struggle. We are prepared and fortified against the evil that would destroy us. We now have a reference point for current and future behavior, and we know the rule of engagement because we know the difference between good and evil.
More importantly, we can now recognize our weaknesses in relation to evil and our strengths in relation to good. No contest worth anything is without risks. But for now, let’s play and may God forgive your fumbles and bless your recoveries in the name of His Son, Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
May God bless and keep you always.