DayBreaks for 4/23/18: Something Evil This Way Comes
From the DayBreaks archive, April 2008:
Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine and author of The Science of Good and Evil, wrote on 3/18/04:
“I once had the opportunity to ask Thomas Keneally, author of Schindler’s List, what he thought was the difference between Oskar Schindler, rescuer of Jews and hero of his story, and Amon Goeth, the Nazi commandant of the Plaszow concentration camp. His answer was revealing. Not much, he said. Had there been no war, Mr. Schindler and Mr. Goeth might have been drinking buddies and business partners, morally obtuse, perhaps, but relatively harmless. What a difference a war makes, especially to the moral choices that lead to good and evil.”
Shermer goes on to quote Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
This reminds me of the parable Jesus spoke about the Pharisee and that tax collector. The Pharisee saw himself in rather glowing terms: “Thank you, God, that I am not like others – like this tax collector!” The tax collector, meanwhile, was downcast and pleaded, “God, have mercy on me a sinner!”
Who do you most closely identify with – the Pharisee or the tax collector? I hope it is the latter, for we all have the “line dividing good and evil” that cuts right through our own heart. The sin we do in private goes unseen except by God, giving us all the temptation to sound and act like the Pharisee, but God knows better. When we approach one another, we’d be wise to recognize that something evil this way comes.
We can’t cut out a piece of our own heart. We can desperately plead with God to create within us a new heart to replace our diseased one.
PRAYER: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me! Cast me not away from Thy Presence, O Lord, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, and renew a right spirit within me!” In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.