Where Is Evil? In Bad People Or In Me?

When terribly evil acts are committed like a gunman randomly shooting strangers, most everybody is deeply saddened.  We are shocked and awakened to once again realize that there is real evil in the world.  And sometimes we think about it and wonder why.

So what is it that motivates someone to commit such atrocities?  There is no human motive.  The shooter doesn’t hate his victims.  He doesn’t even know them.  The shooter gets no reward from his evil act, only severe punishment or death.  So why would anyone do such a thing?

Perhaps evil, itself, is more than we think it is.  Perhaps it is not just extremely destructive or cruel actions or thoughts.  Maybe evil is an intelligent entity that seductively woos weak human nature into compliance and obedience.

Have you ever been wooed, lured, seduced, or tempted into behaviors that you personally believed to be wrongful or evil, yet you did them anyway?  Everybody has.

Evil is like a magnet consistently tugging on us, trying to pull us into harmful thinking and doing.  There is the outward pull of evil — the allure of pleasure through sight and smell; the peer pressure of wanting to be accepted, the persuasion of media.

There is also an inward pull of evil — the pride of wanting to have no boundaries, the hunger for self-gratification, the desire to impose our own will no matter what.

Fortunately, we live in a world of restraints — laws, police, punishment, cultural taboos, and the belief by many in a God who sees everything we do and will hold us each accountable — that help us to individually resist the desire to do wrong that lives inside of us all.  We also have the inner restraint of conscience.

But what if the restraints were removed.  What if we didn’t care about laws or consequences and had no fear of police or punishment. or God and His judgment. What if we had a hardened conscience that no longer told us when we did wrong.

When restraints are removed, people tend to do evil — remember the fall of Baghdad and the immediate aftermath of Katrina.  Why?  Perhaps because evil isn’t just in bad people, but evil also lives in me and you and is striving to take us over and run our lives.

To quote Paul of Tarsus:  “I know that within me, that is within my flesh, dwells no good thing.”  And:  “O wretched man that I am.”

That’s why Christ came — not for good people, but for evil people — to save us from the power of evil working in our lives.  That’s why we desperately need God.

About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I co-lead a non-traditional expression of the body of Christ in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the first Christ-followers come to life in our time. I have written a book about our experiences called, "Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible--Ekklesia" that is available in Kindle & paperback @ http://amzn.to/2nCr5dP
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14 Responses to Where Is Evil? In Bad People Or In Me?

  1. elizabeth s says:


  2. sherwood8028 says:

    Evil is evidence of a lack of love within an individual. It is not some outside force, although those who are motivated by the evil within often.become a reflection of a personal defect.
    We come from our mother’s womb seeking love and it behooves the parent to instill in their children, from the very beginning, the comfort of love.
    Failing to do so merely nurtures the seeds of rejection and unless pruned, they will often grow into oaks of unrighteousness.
    That is why repentance lies at the heart of redemption. It is John the Baptist applying an ax to the root of rebellion against God and His creation.
    If this is ignored, it continues to grow and indeed, to blossom – as was demonstrated in Aurora

  3. David says:

    You are right Steve, every one of us is evil and are in desperate need of a Saviour!

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