Few things are as unsettling as finding out you’re just as capable of evil as the next person, that, deep down, you’re just as critical, just as judgmental, and just as intent on getting even and eliminating the competition as the person who once crushed you.
Of course, if we saw temptation coming, we’d do a much better job of guarding against it. We’d pray more, study our Bibles more, practice poker faces and shutting our mouths on purpose, stay rested and sharp, and surround ourselves with painfully honest people who care more about pleasing God than pleasing us.
But we don’t.
Oddly enough, after years and years of living in this jungle, most of us still do a poor job of detecting the Enemy’s approach.
One twig snap and he’s on you, wielding someone just as prone to wander from God’s path and protection as you are to distract, tempt, shame, or jab you where it hurts. Having left your spiritual armor at home because you didn’t feel the need for it, you panic and go primal, ignoring the still small voice that whispers, “Love.”
Anger, fear, jealousy, and pride take over, and you let the poison darts fly. Lethal and quick, your words, actions, and attitude spread wider and go farther than you could ever have imagined, sticking hearts, burning deep, and causing damage you’ll never even see.
It’s your fault and you know it (1 Cor. 10:13).
Oh, the Enemy’s behind it, of course, that heartless commissioner of kamikaze pilots, but you volunteered for duty. Convicted, your heart sinks and begins to suffocate under the weight of the sin you’ve committed.
Thank God for His mercy and grace!
He alone restores. He alone heals broken hearts. He alone takes what the Enemy intends for evil and uses it for our good (Rom. 8:28, Gen. 50:20). He forces His help on no one, though, so the miraculous sometimes takes a while.
While you wait for the wounded to forgive and to heal, you’ll have plenty of time to confess, plenty of time to plan and do better, and plenty of time to forgive the person who once hurt you.
Because we’re all capable of evil.