Oh how I can relate to Paul and his words in Romans 7:19, "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." The apostle Paul was in a fix. He wanted to do good, but instead did that which was evil. As a christian, we struggle with the same dilema. At least I sure do. Or should I say, I sure am. I am struggling to do good, when in my mind, I want to do evil.
Long, long ago, in a land not very far away, I was abused as a child. Anger and hatred began to grow and grow in the furtile soil of my heart. By the time I became a young adult, I was full of the weeds and briars of consuming bitterness. I despised almost everyone in my life. Men most of all. I had a barrier of protection around me that I wouldn't allow anyone to enter. It was my place of safety. It was a miserable location for my soul to reside. All within was darkness and pain. But then the Holy Spirit began to do an amazing work of weeding. I was convicted of my own sin and graciously set free. Not just free, but free indeed. Completely set free. (If you want to know more about this, contact me.)
So, for the last couple of decades, I have been able to live in the light and freedom of God's grace. However, recently, the ugliness of anger has entered my mind. I learned of a woman who lived with a man and his girlfriend. This woman knew that the man had been previously convicted of child molestation. And yet, she brought her own young daughter into this house to live with her and this couple. Yes, you already know what happened, don't you? This man is now sitting jail, accused of molesting this precious child.
That story made me so angry at these adults. How dare they expose an innocent life to such evil. An evil that will stay with her for the rest of her life. (I know because it happened to me.) But....the story doesn't end there. This woman who lived with this couple is now pregnant with this creep's child. And the three adults in this story, are all supposed christians.
Now, do you see why I am so angry?!
What is the truth and blessing in this story? (Can you believe that there actually is one? Well, there is.) It is how this applies to my soul. It would be so easy for me to give myself completely over to anger and hatred, but that isn't who I am anymore. The Holy Spirit reminds me that I am to do good. There are few places in the Bible where it states specifically on what is sinful. You can usually figure it out by how God responds to what is being done or not done. And by what the Bible says that we should and should not do. But there is one place where it is very clear to each and every christian. This verse is very personal. James 4:17, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." So, I realize that I am to do good, no matter how I feel. And if I don't, then it is sin to me. It doesn't matter the sins that these other people have done, it matters that I don't sin myself by allowing evil to rule and reign in my soul. So, I chose to do good.
What does it mean for me to do good? I think John 15:17 says it very clearly. Jesus commands," These things I command you, that ye love one another." That means that I am to love those who sin as well as those who are righteous. It does not mean that I condone what the sinners do. Just that I am to allow God to love them through me...because like Paul, I cannot do that which is good. God must do it through me.