We are compelled to assist our young people to interpret contemporary situations in a Biblically Christian way.

The most common questions I hear from young people involve the question of evil and the seeming conflict with the truth of God’s love.

We are often horrified by the evil acts carried out by “other” people. As I write this, the media is reporting on continuing slaughters in Afghanistan. It is personal stories that seem to bring evil home to us.

“In Kabul, Zainab, a 27-year-old woman, had just given birth to her first child after years of struggle to get pregnant, She and her husband named their precious child Omid – meaning “hope” in the Dari language.A few hours later, three gunmen burst into the maternity ward and indiscriminately killed twenty-four mothers and new born babies.

Zainab, who rushed back from the bathroom after hearing the commotion, collapsed as she took in the scene. She spent seven years trying to have a child, waited nine months to meet her son and had just four hours with him before he was killed.”

The Bible is an honest book. It tells us about who God is and it tells us story after story of people who think evil thoughts and carry out evil deeds. None but the person of Christ is immune.

Paul writes:

“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate…. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.”[1]

Aleksandra Solzhenitsyn, as a consequence of his time in prison, says, that this truth was “revealed” to him:

“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”[2]

How hopeless would life be if we stopped in Romans 7? What joy it is that Paul proclaims the great grace of God in Romans 8.

How do our community members recognise and confront the evil in their own hearts and also know the great grace of God?

None of us is fully changed in an instant, evil has a way of sticking with us . . . That’s next week.




[1] Romans 7:15-20

[2] The Gulag Archipelago


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