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The Evil is Me

Weekly Devotionals

The Evil is Me

Romans 3:10-18

As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
“Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

There have been a lot of headlines the past few weeks and months causing Christians to rise up and take notice. In particular, I can
think of three “evils” at the top of the list: ISIS, same sex marriage, and abortion. Pastors and bloggers are vehemently defending the sanctity of freedom, of marriage, and of life. Nothing rallies the Church as a common enemy and we’ve named them terrorism and liberalism. As follows of Christ, we should stand up for life and for Biblical values and defend the weak. I just worry about the tone sometimes when the vitriol gets to a point where we not only demonize the perpetrators but anyone that disagrees with our point of view.

If we look at what the Bible teaches about the real danger, we’ll find that the true enemy is me. We need only to turn a few pages in the Bible to see this common narrative played out. As Adam and Eve disobeyed God, the first thing they do is point to the evil one that made them do it. And throughout Israel’s history, they constantly look at their environment as the source of their pain, even when God provides victory after victory, and they can’t see it’s their lack of faith that’s causing their misery. Even in modern history, we point to people like Hitler as the greatest evil. My opinion is that the silence of the German Christians was a greater evil. The professing Church that does nothing dishonors the name of Christ and does more harm to our faith. We may speak out against abortion but do we have the same passion to help single mothers and to counsel women who’ve already made a painful choice?

I never worry about persecution or external threats to our faith. Christianity has always thrived in the furnace. The true enemy is found closer to home, at the center of each and every heart. When we begin to believe that we are righteous and they are evil, we’ve already failed to believe the Gospel. We should never fail to fight for justice but we must also be humble enough to admit that we murder our enemies in our hearts and we wound with our words and we judge men and women made in the image of God. Although we may feel good about ourselves compared to the other, our “rightness” will never save us. We have a righteousness that comes by faith, not by works and not by being right. We can only truly love our enemies if we identify evil in ourselves.