Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Combating evil

morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked: evil deeds; an evil life.

Few words transcend all aspects of the human experience like this four letter adjective. It's exclusive application has been relegated to wicked behavior in the extreme. But it's manifestation is often much more subtle than we realize. When we hear the word evil, it may conjure up thoughts of infamous historical figures like Adolph Hitler and Idi Amin. Or maniacal killers like Charles Manson. Those individuals who have overtly shown depraved indifference, and a blatant disregard for human life. These villains were able to exact their evil on a grand scale in an effort to crush humanity.
But, there are those people in our every day lives who are just as evil.
You might be asking yourself how I could possibly compare a co-worker or your next door neighbor to Hitler or Manson, and you may even be asking yourself what they have in common. The clear parallel between the jerk one cubicle over, who has dedicated his life to ruining yours and the neighbor with both too much time and bass, who insists on playing his music at 1am on a Tuesday on purpose, is the fact that they both feel totally, an unequivocally justified in their actions. They have reasoned with themselves, and were able to validate their urges within their own conscience. In other words they convince themselves that whatever they want to do is alright, simply because they have figured out a reason to do it. It may not be mass murder, or genocide, but if someone deliberately tries to stymy your ability to make a living, or peacefully coexist, it is, in my mind, a crime against ones own personal humanity. The deliberate, and focused plain to cause misery in someone else's life is pure evil. There are actually people in this world who get great pleasure from causing others pain. They contrive scenario's specifically designed to cause others strife, far past the point of inconvenience, most often for reasons that are figments of their own imaginations. Such people are often empty inside, and harbor an unhappiness which they themselves do not understand because it goes unrecognized. Perhaps the worse part of having such a deadly personality flaw is the fact that the justification does not amount to realization, and it is next to impossible to correct deviant behavior if it is not acknowledged.
The question is. How do those of us who strive to live like Christ deal with those who don't share our desire? If I may go a step further. How do those of us who strive to live Christ centered lives, deal with becoming the targets of evil doers? Yes, these questions are a bit dramatic, and yes I have done my own critical analysis. I have come to the conclusion that evil has become so ingrained in our society that we barely see it for what it is anymore. But just because we see and or experience something often, does not mean that the dynamic has changed.
Back to my aforementioned questions.
The answers are in the same book, as the answers to each and every one of life's quandaries.

Ephesians 6:10-18
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Last but not least.

2 Chronicles 20:15
15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.

His word is perfect and true! Life has never been easy, and never will be. But thank God for his mercy, grace and favor.
It is a true gift.
So the next time you feel the urge to slap fire out of one of your evil co-workers, remember two things. You don't have to fight your own battles, and prayer still works!


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