As I was discovering my relationship to God the subject of evil came up, and I had to figure out what evil was and how to handle it in my life. First, I realized that I could have no control over other people or what was going on around me. I was responsible only, for my own thoughts, choices, and actions. Through my study of God, I learned that evil was not a person or a place or a thing, so what is it? If God is all powerful, that didn’t leave room for another power, so evil must not have any power. So, what is it?
Through my study, this is what I discovered. Evil is a suggestion or a temptation as I referred to it in my previous blog on prayer. Sometimes it is a very powerful suggestion, but it is still just a suggestion that comes to my thought for my consideration. It only has the power that I give it. If I am not strong enough to reject the evil suggestions that come to me, then they become a reality in my experience. The thing about evil suggestions is that they promised I would receive something I desired if I acted on them. That is not true; they will try to destroy my life.
When I was teaching Sunday school some years back, this subject came up. I was asked where those thoughts come from. This is what I came up with, and the children seemed to accept it. Thoughts are like radio waves, they float around in the universe just waiting for someone to welcome them in. We either accept them or deny them entrance into our experience.
Through the twenty-five to thirty years that I was suffering from the effects of child abuse, I was accepting some evil suggestions. Let’s define here what evil looks like. It is the opposite of Good. 😊 It can be immoral, nasty, obnoxious and any number of unpleasant things, like the suggestion to take drugs, or over indulge in anything that is not good for us.
I was seeing myself incorrectly. Not only that, I was seeing other people in my life incorrectly. We are all born good, and that goodness stays with us throughout our life no matter what happens to us. Under all the anger, hate, frustration and immoral behavior I was expressing, I was 100% good. The evil suggestions that came to me tried to rob me of my goodness, but it could not, it is who I am. The day that I finally understood what that meant was one of the changing points in my life. To restore me to my natural goodness, all I had to do was stop accepting evil suggestions. If this is true for me, it is true for everyone.
There are no evil people. There are just good people doing evil things. When I changed my perception of them, sometimes, I could see them soften. It was almost like when I saw past what they were doing, to that good person they really were, they got a glimpse of that person too.
The Bible is a story of the power of Good over Evil. It starts with the serpent suggesting to Eve that if she eats the apple, she will get something that is desirable, but that’s not what happened. This serpent starts in Genesis and slithers his way through the Bible all the way to the book of Revelations, where it grows into an ugly Red Dragon. His deception is seen, and he becomes recognizable as Evil and is destroyed by Good. We need to see evil for what it is before we can destroy it.
I hope this is making sense to you. When I learned this, I was able to forgive my abuser. When they crucified Jesus, he said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Isn’t that what we should do to those around us that are acting out of evil suggestions? I say, yes. Forgive them for their weakness. If they knew how to do better, they would. Knowing this I can have compassion for those around me that are doing evil things. Keep in mind that to forgive is to stop reacting to what is happening. We don’t have to like what they are doing, but we can step back and separate them from the suggestions they are acting out, and not let them rob us of our joy and peace of mind. Don’t get mad or react in any way or they have succeeded. Pity them.
Bear in mind that I am talking about adults here. Children that have not reached the age of reason yet have very little control over their lives. They need our help and protection.
Another thing I learned was that we are not punished for our sins forever. Our sins are forgiven when we stop sinning. Jesus said several times after he had healed someone, “Go and sin no more.” To me, that means, I’ve healed you, so you will be fine if you sin no more. I had sinned, and it does not matter that it was a result of the effects of child abuse, I sinned. But what does matter is that there is hope. When I stopped sinning, when I learn to say, NO to those evil suggestions, my sins were forgiven.
I stopped sinning and learned to express my innate goodness. The more I learned about God as Love, the easier it was for me to stop. So, if you are in the throws for acting out from the effects of child abuse or for any other reason, learn to say NO, to those suggestions and start expressing all the goodness you were born with. Don’t wait, do it now, you will never regret it. Say, NO!