“Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.” (C. S. Lewis, “Charity” chapter in Mere Christianity, p. 132).
Since that fateful day when Adam and Eve made the decision that they wanted to know the difference between good and evil, we have had to live with the plague of evil in the world. This happened because, to know evil, you must experience it. God gave them the opportunity to choose between their devotion to Him and their devotion to themselves and they made the wrong choice. Now, because evil was introduced into the world, we must learn our lessons the hard way.
Despite the destruction it has caused in the world, however, many still embrace evil as a means to an end. Isaiah prophesied about this in chapter five, verse 20 of his book saying, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”
Throughout the world there are those who try to make something evil into something good. Abortion is not about killing babies, its about a woman making a choice about her body. Psychedelic drugs don’t lead to addiction and death, they enhance the human experience. Greed is not something that promotes selfishness and endangers relationships, it is necessary to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves.
Evil is defined as something morally wrong or bad, so to make it good we adjust our morality. If we want something that is clearly evil to be seen in a better light we change the rules and try to make it morally acceptable. But these attempts never change the facts, they just change our perceptions.
Paul told the Romans in Romans 12:21, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Here he acknowledges that evil will always be present. He also assures the reader that it doesn’t have to overcome us. The way to do this, he says, is to do good. Good is the antibody to evil.
The author of evil is the devil and the Author of good is God. Everyday we must choose whom we will take our direction from. With every moment comes an opportunity for righteousness or condemnation.
Proverbs 8:13 reminds us that, “The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.” Those who respect and honor God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength avoid evil because they know that evil and sin separate us from Him. Pride and arrogance accompany evil because it is through them that selfishness is derived.
But as people who fear God, we have no need to fear evil because goodness overcomes immorality. Psalm 23:4 reminds us that, “Even though (we) walk through the valley of death, (we need not) fear evil, for You are with (us); Your rod and Your staff, they comfort (us).” Just as evil leads to death so does goodness lead to life. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), but we need not succumb to the evil that sin leads to. The God of all goodness has given us the tools to overwhelm evil with good works. Together we can leave evil dazed and confused and rendered harmless. But to do that, we must remain vigilant in faith and consistent in righteousness.
God has wonderful plans for each and every one of us and none of these plans include evil. Though evil will greet us, we have only to lean on Christ, the perfector of our faith. Through God’s word and with the guidance of His Holy Spirit, we have reason to rejoice in the understanding that evil doesn’t have to be victorious over us. Our strength comes in the author of goodness. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father help us to avoid the evil that so easily finds its way into our lives. Keep us faithful, even during our earthly trials and remind us daily of Your love and promise of salvation. Amen.