The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful
One thing that sets our faith apart from so many others in the world is that Christians are called to look at the world as it really is, both good and bad. On the one hand, the world is good, created by God. On the other hand the world is fallen, broken, polluted with sin. Not all religions and philosophies take this view. Some religions say all people are really good down inside, and that there’s no such thing as evil—only an absence of good. At the other extreme some philosophies hold out no hope for real goodness in the world—only animal instincts and self-preservation. As Christians we, like our Savior, have a responsibility to look at the world with clear eyes. There is a lot of evil in the world. Not everyone we meet is honest or friendly. Not every parent loves his or her child. Some human beings commit unspeakable evils against their fellow human beings. So many things are wrong with this world. But as Christians we are able to face these unpleasant facts, because we know the bad isn’t all there is. The bad news is that we world is fallen, but the good news—the absolutely, stunningly, beautifully good news—is that God loves us. God reaches out in love to bring us back into relationship with him. He offers us new life in Jesus Christ and his Holy Spirit to help us live that new life. In newness of life we have victory over sin—not just forgiveness, but the power to put away our sins and walk in the light. It’s a wonderful, exciting prospect: to live in the power of God’s Spirit and to draw nearer to him every day. We have more power than we can imagine in Christ: the power to resist the devil, to mend broken relationships, to overcome addiction, to shine the light of Jesus Christ to the world, to know God. That’s the beauty, the joy of discipleship—not only that we have an alternative to this world, but that we have freedom and power as citizens of God’s holy kingdom. Amen! Copyright 2004, New York Avenue Church of Christ I serve as sports writer for the Manchester Times and preacher and elder for the Church of Christ at Fredonia. The ideas expressed here, however, are my own and do not necessarily reflect the official position of either the Times or the church. I welcome your questions or comments. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading.