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Weekly Devotionals

Weekly Devotion: 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.

by Alex Lim