Followers of Jesus should be able to agree that there is plenty of evil in the world. Pornography is rampant, God’s name is blasphemed, and decency is close to death. You don’t have to be a genius to figure this out–just looking around should do the trick. Things are not what they should be.
So, what’s different about that? Some are led to believe that everything was in pretty good shape until the last half of the last century. They think that there was a great deal of morality until around the 1960’s when everything went haywire.
They need a history lesson.
Sin has been around for a long time. Indecent words were being spoken and indecent images being displayed long before this past century. Ancient societies were not full of extremely virtuous people. Wherever people have lived, there has been evil.
What has changed is that everyone is far more aware of it than during times past. We see it on television, in newspapers, and on the internet. 24 hour news channels cover every dastardly deed and we sit and soak it all up.
What is most interesting to me is the response of those who follow Jesus.
The most common response is outrage and disgust with petitions being signed and sermons being preached about how horrible all of it is. This combined with Christians fussing and complaining about every sin and slight aimed toward them paint a distorted picture of how we should be responding.
Going back to the New Testament reveals something amazing. Those who followed Jesus then did not spend much time complaining about the evil around them or about the shenanigans of the powers that be. They merely went about their lives trusting in their Savior and doing good to all that they came in contact with.
They did not complain, they overcame.
Whenever we hear of the desires of some to take the words “under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance or “In God We Trust” off of coins, so many Christians go crazy. Sadly, we are not as aghast over the fact that there are many among us who go days without eating, nights without a warm place to sleep, or go on day after day believing that no one cares about them.
The empire that ruled during the New Testament days was filled with darkness. But instead of cursing the darkness, the early Christians shone the light of God’s love.
I dislike evil as much as the next person, but we need to take a close look at how we respond. If the choice is between complaining or overcoming, I’ll choose to strive to overcome.
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”–Romans 12:21