The Weekly Word - A Devotion for the Week of August 19
“Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
-- Psalm 34:14
When we consider the word “evil,” we might be inclined to think of a particularly heinous act, like a mass shooting or a genocide – something large-scale and widespread. “Evil” is a frightening word, a word from which we like to distance ourselves.
The truth, though, is that evil can take many forms. It drives the horrific events that dominate media headlines, to be sure, but evil – sin – is also what drives each of us to make the wrong choices. We, too, are capable of sowing discord and distrust. We, too, are capable of hurting our family, friends, neighbors, coworkers and strangers with our words and deeds. We, too, are capable of choosing wrong over right.
Evil is pervasive in our world, but as the Psalmist reminds us, the choice to turn from evil toward good is ours. God has gifted us with free will – the power to make the better choice.
Recall the Parable of the Good Samaritan in the Gospel of Luke (10:25-37). Rather than turning from evil, both the priest and the Levite continued to perpetrate it when they refused to help the man who lay gravely injured on the side of the road. The Samaritan, on the other hand, chose differently. In stopping to care for his “enemy” – to bandage the Jewish man’s wounds and to show him love and compassion – the Samaritan chose to do good.
In one small way or another, each of us will likely be offered the opportunity to choose good over evil today. Maybe it will be in the words we choose as we engage in a difficult conversation with a coworker. Maybe it will be in the actions we choose to take toward a loved one or a stranger.
May we choose to turn from evil toward good. May we choose to seek peace and pursue it. May we make the better choice.
Heavenly Father, guide my words and actions today. Help me turn from evil toward good in everything I say and do. Help me make the better choice today. In Your name I pray. Amen.