There are some situations in life which are simply unacceptable. Our capacity for acts of evil to each other is not something to be happy about and when we commit such acts there is no need to excuse it, overlook it or neglect it. Even forgiveness is an active response to it that suggests that it has been addressed properly.
There are times when in those situations we are to learn from it in a bid to repeat it happening in the future or being better equipped to deal with it should it happen again. When that is brought on board in a sense we are taking the good from bad. I don’t believe that this is possible all the time, but that ethos of looking to take the good is a healthy one when it is applied.
By evil I am not just referring to those more obvious acts of grotesque inhumanity. Bad things happen, boring things take place, ineffective occasions arise and frustrating episodes occur. Life continues to teach me that my response to these things determines whether I emerge better or worse for the experience. Philippians 4:8 is a verse of Scripture that is easy to turn into a bumper sticker and have a glib approach to the content, but that’s a tragic reaction to a word of advice that is brilliant. It’s worth thinking on the noble, right, true, pure, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. It’s good to detect that and celebrate it. This is something terrific to apply in frustrating situations because it gets us to engage with elements of life in the Spirit like patience.
The good is there for its own sake and we get to enjoy the benefits of it if we choose to focus on it. Focusing on it doesn’t negate what needs to happen with evil. It is to not be consumed by it.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden