The good and bad of it...
“For everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--comes not from the Father but from the world.” 2 John 2:16
The majority of people that choose not to believe in God say something along the lines of, “If God is love and God is so good, why is there so much evil in the world and why do bad things keep happening?”
There was a time, like many people, I would have answered something along the lines of: “Sin entered the world. It was not God’s original plan, but Adam and Eve rebelled; therefore, we are still facing the consequences of their poor choices.” Now that’s a good “church” answer!
While this answer is true, it goes much deeper than this historical and biblical fact. Sin, evil, whatever you choose to call it is still here for one reason and one reason only: us.
God made all things good. Man, through the temptation of evil, continues to skew God’s original plan of peace, health and harmony. Man’s temptation comes in three forms:
One reason for God’s lack of power in our world and in our lives is the lust of the flesh. Our desires are our soul desire. We want to make our own choices and we believe we know, better than God, what will make us happy. The lust of the flesh can be as simple as overeating to as dangerous as terrorism. Our wants and wishes take first place over God’s will and plan.
Secondly, the lust of the eyes keeps us locked in a downward spiral. King David succumb to the lust in his eyes when he willingly stepped out of God’s plan for his life, saw Bathsheba, wanted Bathsheba, took Bathsheba, impregnated Bathsheba, and the account of David’s sinful failure only started with the lust of his eyes. David went against most of the Ten Commandments by giving in to what he saw despite the fact she wasn’t his to have in the first place.
Third, we constantly struggle with the pride of life. It comes in the form of ego, “I am better than you and I need you to know it.” Or we take on the attitude of, “Don’t try to tell me how to live” by saying it to others and demanding it of God. Don’t try to tell me how to live!
As society struggles with some very real issues and is faced with many harsh truths, I encourage everyone who claims to be “in Christ” to ask ourselves, “What is our motive?” If we are basing all decisions on what makes our flesh (the temporal us that does not include our soul) happy, we are not making spiritually-sound decisions. If we are following the lust of our eyes – I see it, I want it – we are headed for trouble if we haven’t prayed and asked God for His blessing first. And, finally, if we have arrogant, haughty attitudes that we think we are better than anyone else and we believe everything existing is “ours and not theirs for the taking,” we need to confess we have a pride issue.
We are nothing apart from God. Whatever we have accumulated as individuals or as a nation is because of the grace and goodness of God. When we start thinking we need to get everything we want, we need to have everything we see, and we deserve more because we are better than others – THEN, and only then, will we understand that God is a good God who is full of love, but like Adam and Eve (not because of Adam and Eve), we do evil and cause pain in our world. Which in turn, affects everyone else in the process. Even the innocent.