Question of the Day: How Do You Stop Evil?

How can we stop evil without becoming evil in the process? 

I’ve shared snapshots along the way of my study through the parables of Jesus.  This week I’ve been studying Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43–The Parable of the Wheat and The Weeds.

Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away.  But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.  The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’  And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’  But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them.  Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.” …Then He left the crowds and went into the house And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”  And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.   So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness,and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father He who has ears, let him hear.”

Klyne Snodgrass (Stories With Intent, 2008) summarizes the point of the parable as being about God’s coming judgment.  His kingdom has been brought, but it is incomplete since evil still exist in the world.  However, judgment is coming.  “The parable conveys that judgment belongs to God and His agents, not to humans.”

Snodgrass concludes with, “We cannot be tolerant of evil, but the destruction of evil is not our task.  We must stop being evil, and we must stop evil from destroying, but how can we stop evil without becoming evil in the process?  That may well be the human question.”

The news abounds with stories of vengance.  Churches and communities are easily ripped apart by blame storming.  Witch hunts and inquisitions fill our history books.  Anyone who has ever had anything unjust happen to them knows far too well the temptation to repay evil with evil.  We pound our fists in anger when the bad guy gets away or the good guy suffers unjustly. 

Did you ever suffer an injustice?  Has something evil happened to you?  How did you respond?  How did you guard your heart from growing bitter? 

How can we stop evil without becoming evil in the process? 

How do you answer?

1 thought on “Question of the Day: How Do You Stop Evil?

  1. It’s as Jesus is saying, “Be still, and know, that I am God.”

    To answer the reflection, “YES,” I’ve experienced injustice. I’ve also been the perpetrator of injustice. Injustice is evil.

    We stop evil without becoming evil by loving our enemies. We can love our enemies through the love of Jesus. Freely He gave to me, freely I give to others.

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