Friday, June 13, 2014

Matthew 12:35 -- On Kicking Evil to the Curb.

"A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things."
Matthew 12:35

I think this is interesting in terms of looking at ourselves and seeing who we are.  Christ is clearly equating our inner and outer selves here.  What we do and say is based on what we feel and think... and so you can pretty much tell who we are inside by what actions we take.  ... To ourselves though, I don't think this is always the way we look at it.  We can feel like we're good even when we do bad things because it was just that once, or they totally deserved it, or it's how you have to play the game at work, or I was grumpy that day, or circumstances pretty much forced the issue, or she started it, or they were trying to cheat me, or ... whatever it is.  And I'm not even saying that there isn't some truth in some of that... only that there isn't enough truth to make bad into good.  I think maybe we need to step back and realize that there *is* no justification for evil.  Not ever.  And when we do bad things, we are becoming bad people.  We don't want one bad action to make us all bad... and maybe it doesn't, by itself.  But it does show that there was badness in us already.  The answer isn't to justify and say, oh, well, we're mostly good. :)  The solution is to repent, and find a way to root out the evil parts of ourselves.
The scariest part I think is that often we actually believe that we *can* keep the bad parts.  We think on some level that they are part of who we are.  We say, "oh, that's the way I am" to justify some bad action or attitude, and are content to remain that way, or even become proud of it.  Unfortunately, even the bad parts that we think are built in by personality or genetics or social environment are going to have to go, if we want to be good.  And that can seem overwhelming, when we are kind of addicted to our witty cruelty or we like blaming our sexual misconduct on the genetics passed down from the hunter-gatherer society, or whatever else it is that we want to keep because it feels like who we are.  We worry about ripping ourselves apart and not being able to go back together, or maybe we feel that we won't even *be* us without that.  But today, let's remember that there is a core of us that is purely good.  That is the part that wants to return to God.  And that part doesn't need any of the badness.  We can be amazingly witty without the cruelty.  We can be satisfied and happy while following God's laws.  We can be ourselves and so much better *without* the bad.  Let's kick the evil to the curb.  Let's find out who we are without it.  Let's give up our souvenirs of Hell, and remember that Heaven has better rides anyway. :)  Let's be good, inside and out.

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