One of the basic concepts that prevails over everything we do as a society and individuals is the premise of Good vs Evil.
Regardless of your nationality, color, gender or religion the balance of Good vs Evil has a dramatic effect on our direction.
This struggle is one that is has been illustrated throughout time, and is something EVERY one of us deal with on a constant basis.
This really jumped out at me this morning during a bible study where we were discussing The Parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12.
The Parable of the Rich Fool
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
Luke 12:13-21 (NIV)
On the surface this passage might not seem like one that addresses the forces of good vs evil so I’ll share how this jumped out to me.
Jesus is clearly put off by the request to be an arbitrator for a families inheritance. The man asking has the opportunity to speak with Jesus himself, who he clearly sees as an authority, and selfishly asks him to help him get his share of earthly possessions.
Jesus takes the opportunity to teach through a parable. In the parable a rich man receives a bountiful crop which is much more than he needs. Now there really is not anything wrong being rich or having abundance as long as his heart is in the right place. A bumper crop which the GROUND yielded (not the man) is a blessing that could be shared with others in need. Instead the man fretted over how to keep it all for himself. His decision to build bigger barns so he could basically retire and be slothful is completely self-centered and driven by greed.
GREED is the root of evil. It is at the heart of all sin and is the weapon of choice for satan.
So if Good and Evil are opposites what is the opposite of Greed? Selflessness.
This is best summed up in Luke 10:27 when Jesus was asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Luke 10:27 (NIV)
Amen! Give everything you have to the Lord and love those around you as much as you love yourself. In other words selflessness, or the polar opposite of self-centered.
The choice of Good vs Evil presents itself in every decision we make. None of us are perfect and we will all make the wrong choice from time to time. The challenge is deciding where your heart is and what you are going to do about it. These decisions and actions have a profound impact on our future and especially the future of our children.
Which way are you going?