As I was discovering my relationship with 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 happening around me. I was responsible only for my thoughts, choices, and actions. Through my study of God, I learned that evil was not a person, place, or thing, so what is it? If God is all-powerful, that did not 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. Sometimes it is a 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, 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. That is the nature of evil.
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, waiting for someone to welcome them in. We either accept them or deny them entrance into our experience. It is our choice.
Through the twenty-five to thirty years that I was suffering from the effects of child abuse, I was accepting evil suggestions. Let us define here what evil looks like. Naturally, 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 overindulge in anything that is not good for us.
I saw myself incorrectly. Not only that, but I was seeing other people incorrectly. We are all born good, and that goodness stays with us throughout our life no matter what happens. 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 they could not. It is who I am as God’s child. The day that I finally understood what that meant, it restored 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 simply 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 she will get something that is desirable if she eats the apple, but that is not what happened. This serpent starts in Genesis and slithers his way through the Bible to the book of Revelations, where it grows into an ugly Red Dragon. When his deception is seen and recognizable as Evil, it is destroyed by Good. I needed to see evil for what it was before it could be destroyed. Jesus said, “…there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.” (Luke 12:2) Through the ‘still small voice,’ God will reveal to me what I need to know. He is there for all of us. We just need to listen.
There were times when I would try to figure out why I did something, but I have since learned to stop trying to figure out a negative. It is impossible. Most of what we see here is not a reflection of God’s creation. It reflects the suggestions we accept, our beliefs of what life is, right or wrong. When I stopped accepting negative, mental suggestions and corrected my thinking, my life changed for the better. I became a reflection of God, His image, and likeness. Well, I Oops once in a while, but I have become better at catching them and making a correction.
I hope this is all 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 do better. 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. I do not have to like what they are doing, but I can step back and separate them from the suggestions they are acting out and not let them rob me of my joy and peace of mind. I learned if I got mad or reacted in any way, they had succeeded. So, I silently pitied them.
Bear in mind that I am talking about adults here. Children that have not reached the age of reason and have little control over their lives. They need our help and protection.
Another thing I learned was that we are not punished for our sins, although we will often suffer the consequences of them. 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 have healed you, so you will be fine if you sin no more. I had sinned, and it does not matter that it resulted from 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 was learning to express my natural goodness. But even so, there are times when little things from the past pop up, but at least now I know them for what they are, nothing, not a part of God’s creation. They are like a speck of dust from the Genesis II creation, that stuck to me, and I needed to just brush it off, swipe my hand across that dirty little thing and get ride of it.
The more I learned about God as Love, the easier it was for me to stop acting out. So, if you are acting out from the effects of child abuse or any other reason, learn to say NO to those pesky suggestions, and start expressing all the goodness you were born with. Please do not wait, do it now; you will never regret it. Say, NO!
Have a good day, Michele