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I need to know about evil. I need to know how to recognize it. Jesus challenges me to recognize it in my own life. Really? Me? Evil?

Well … one day Jesus addressed the apostle Peter by saying “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

The Apostle Peter? Evil? Me? Evil?

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! ~Jesus | Luke 11:13

I am a sinner. I’ve missed God’s goal for my life. I shouldn’t pretend otherwise because it is true. I need to get over this notion, that in and of myself, I am a good person. I am not. Confronting that truth is essential for the salvation of my soul and my journey with Jesus as a disciple. I say “Master Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!”

When I do wrong to others or God, I am committing evil. Jesus said that simple things like “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.

Evil is usually thought of as that which is morally wrong, sinful, or wicked; however, the word evil can also refer to anything that causes harm, with or without the moral dimension. The word is used both ways in the Bible.

Anything that contradicts the holy nature of God is evil (see Psalm 51:4). On the flip side, any disaster, tragedy, or calamity can also be called an “evil” (see 1 Kings 17:20, KJV).

But wait … there is good news!

From Paul we hear:

“Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.” | Colossians 3:5

There is good news! Jesus has paid the price to redeem us. I can change my mind (aka repent) and live a life of grace and peace.

Again from Paul:

“The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” | 2 Timothy 4:18

Of course the apostle John says

“We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.” | 1 John 5:18

Evil behavior includes sin committed against other people (murder, theft, adultery) and evil committed against God (unbelief, idolatry, blasphemy). From the disobedience in the Garden of Eden to the wickedness of Babylon the Great, the Bible speaks of the fact of evil, and man is held responsible for the evil he commits: “The one who sins is the one who will die” (Ezekiel 18:20).

Consider the apostle John.

“The one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8