DayBreaks for 7/04/16 – Staring Evil in the Eye
Galen is on vacation. From the DayBreaks archive, June 2006:
Can I be honest with you? I’m a bit on the angry side in my spirit right now. I’m angry about diseases that leave children orphaned. I’m angry about humans who are so full of hate for others (even of their own race), that they strap on suicide bomb vests or drive cars into crowded shopping areas and blow them up, shattering many lives. I’m angry about how easily some get upset about things that really don’t matter in light of the scope of human tragedy that is so monstrous that it makes me want to put a hand over my own mouth to stop my own stupid and pitiful whining and complaining. Quite frankly, I have nothing to complain about – and yet I do.
I am stunned by the hatred and evil in the world. And it makes me angry. And then, oh God forgive me, I stop to remember the evil that is in my own life. No, I’ve never been a suicide bomber, I’ve never shot the temple of the Holy Spirit full of cocaine or heroin, I’ve never killed anyone, or even struck another person in anger. But is there evil in my life? Oh yes, Lord, when I get off my high-horse long enough to truly examine my life in the light of the cross.
And that’s where we all need to go when we are so angry at what others are doing or what we feel they’ve done to us, that we get a little too high and mighty. No, God doesn’t care only about the evil in the lives of those I’ve described, but He hates my evil, too. When will I ever learn that?!?!
And when will I remember what God has done for all of us – for all of our sins? Again, we must go back to the cross. As Shane Claiborne put it so well: When I mediate on the cross, I think I see what love looks like when it stares evil in the eye.
Therein is the difference between how God sees evil and how I see it. I get angry about it and want to get even, want to see the wicked suffer for the horrible things they do, for the diseases they may bring into their own families. But God looks at it and His heart breaks with love and sorrow for our waywardness. I’ve got a long, long way to go to be more like Him. On the cross, Jesus stared down evil – looking it in the eye – and won the victory.
Psalms 28:3 (NIV) – Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts.
PRAYER: Father, how unworthy we are to be called your children. We sure don’t resemble you very much – at least I don’t. Forgive me for my high-mindedness and haughty spirit that judges the evil in others and excuses it in myself. Help me not to take myself so seriously but to take my sin much more seriously than I do. Thank you for showing us the response of love to evil, and help us to love rather than smolder in our own self-righteousness . In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.