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Beautiful Evil

Beautiful Evil

2 Corinthians 11:14 …Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

Why are the things that are bad for me so attractive?  Why do I desire immediate gratification when I know it will hurt later?  Though I know exercise, broccoli and prayer are good for me, what I want, is to sit on my couch, eating donuts while watching TV.  What I want to be tomorrow is unattainable by pursuing that which I want right now.  In my addiction, I desperately wanted to be sober soon, but at any given moment, I just wanted a pill.

One does not have to be an addict to find our predicament unfair. We live in a world, full of forbidden fruit, for which God has allowed us an insatiable appetite.  How many times have we begged God to remove or change our appetites?

If you are like me, you have prayed and prayed again that God would just make you a robot.  I surrender.  You are in control. Just make me do what’s right, OK?  Then, when God does not take me up on my offer, I am angry and frustrated with him.

This is his plan after all, right?  I may blame Satan or the world, but if I truly believe in a God who is in control, He is somehow behind it all and He allows me the choice between donuts and broccoli.  He allows me to follow the path of sobriety or the path of addiction.  He allows me to choose me or him.

It is not enough that He allows a choice though, He allows the alternative to him to be maddeningly attractive.  Evil tastes good.  Why?  Why would God want me to know the anguish of the forbidden fruit?

I think the answer lies in the reason for which we were made.  God made us to live in an intimate relationship with him.  It is our highest purpose to love him (Matt 22:37).  God loves and He longs to be loved back.  For true love to exist though, there must be a choice.  My dog loves me, but he is, frankly, an imbecile when it comes love.  God created us in his image, with discretion, preference, appetite and capacity for choice.  God revealed himself and an attractive alternative.  God allowed us to know an appetite for something not-God, so that we could make a real choice.  It would be no choice if God offered either himself or rotten broccoli.

This is why God allows Satan to dress as an angel of light.  Satan, I assume would stand no chance if all he had to offer was pain and misery.  He must use bait and switch with pain and death hiding behind the façade of pleasure.  Make no mistake, evil comes in many seductive, deceptive forms.

The greatest evil in my life is not necessarily addiction.  The greatest evil is that thing which keeps me from being who I was meant to be while never being recognized as evil.  My career, friends or even family can become idols to which I bow down.  If I pursue those things above all, they become the apple for which I sacrifice my relationship with God.

This does not mean that I am required to give up everything pleasurable in this life.   In fact, the greatest joy I have known has been living in this life while right with God.  I do however, need to be brutally honest with myself.  Am I pursuing God or am I pursuing destruction, dressed up as something beautiful?

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