As I was driving home the other day from the store, I looked on in awe and wonder at the signs of spring evident in the flowers that adorned the pear trees and the daffodils that were scattered and blooming all alongside the roadway. I could see squirrels chasing each other and birds soaring on air currents high above me. Their busyness made me smile. The air was warmer, and I could drive with my windows rolled down. I thought to myself, “God is amazing! Look at the beauty that He has created!” I have no doubt that most people can see the beauty in nature as the cold hand of winter recedes and a new, young world appears before us.
I’m reminded of Genesis 1:31 “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” Indeed, it is very good! It is easy to look around us and see all that is good when it is beautifully packaged- a newborn baby with eyes still shut tightly and little hands balled up into tiny fists; an elderly couple holding hands, their wrinkled fingers intertwined with one another, holding onto the one who has seen them at their very best and their very worst but still loves them; a peaceful lake that reflects the image of a golden setting sun as it turns the sky a multitude of colors; the trees gently swaying in a warm breeze as butterflies flit around as if they are dancing a waltz to the music carried by the wind. Yes, God has used the beauty that is around us to help draw us closer to Him. He is an artist working in various mediums bringing about amazing and timeless works of art!
Unfortunately, the devil has seen how well appealing to our senses works to draw us closer to God. He also wants to draw us close to him. He, however, doesn’t draw us closer so that we can share in love, joy, and salvation. No, he wants to draw us in so that we will move away from God. He is a tricky one and knows that if we see evil for what it is really is we will flee from it and from him as quickly as possible. He knows that if we could see evil for what it truly is we would never turn from the Lord. Instead, he wraps evil in a beautiful package hoping to appeal to our senses. He knows that we are more likely to see past the evil if what we actually see doesn’t scare us or repulse us.
Evil is defined as something that is “profoundly immoral and malevolent, (of a force or spirit) embodying or associated with the forces of the devil, harmful or tending to harm, or (of something seen or smelled) extremely unpleasant.” If evil is all these things, how can it be beautiful? Surely we would see evil for what it’s worth and see how vile and terrible it is, right? Of course there are some acts and words that we know are pure evil. They aren’t hidden from our sight. They are front and center in our lives and we can’t argue that they are anything other than evil- school shootings, murder, rapes, hurting children, as well as many other crimes. We can look at these actions and know without a doubt that there is evil behind the deeds. We can call it evil and no one bats an eye. But what do we do about evil that is wrapped in a pretty package and given to us to unwrap and “enjoy”?
We can look at abortion as an evil wrapped up in a pretty package given to us to accept and appreciate. Instead of showing us the babies who lose their lives and showing us what actually happens during an abortion, we are given a package wrapped in sparkly paper that has “women’s rights” and “women’s health care” written on the outside. When we open the paper and look into the box we don’t see those promises. In its place we see shattered dreams, broken women and families, and millions of dead babies who were never blessed with a chance to live. Where we think abortion is the end all we now read about countries who allow their citizen to kill the elderly, the sick, and those who have no value as deemed by their society. We are told it is “better for them” and “better for our society”; we’ll “save money on health costs” or “we are doing this out of love for them.” The excuses we need to trick ourselves into accepting such evil is mind-boggling. The devil knows we need these excuses and so he makes that package look so pretty but in reality the evil is overwhelming!
The devil works through our society to tell us that whatever makes us happy is good and right. Of course, we have been taught differently… not everything that is good for us will make us happy and not everything that makes us happy is good. We are bombarded with messages that tell us not only is it ok to look at pornography, but it’s also a natural inclination. Likewise, the marriage bed is not the only place to have sex, because it’s your body and you should be free to experiment, go wild, and have sex with who or what you want (especially while you are young!). We are fed the notion that human cloning will advance our species despite the obvious moral arguments which show it is not a good idea. We see people ingesting drugs to alter their perceptions and senses, often leading them to do things they wouldn’t normally do. They loosen their inhibitions and suddenly things that once were taboo are now the social norm. Yes, evil can be beautiful indeed.
So, where do we go from here? We have to pray and trust in God to help us see evil for what it truly is. We have to know that even if something is beautiful if it takes us further from God it is not from Him. We need to realize that the devil is very active in our world today, working to pull us from our God and into a relationship with him. This relationship can only end badly. Ultimately, it will result in our loss of salvation. We must be strong and stand up for what is right and good and holy. We can’t allow the devil to tempt us with evil wrapped up in pretty packages. No, we must tear through the paper and see what is truly held inside the box. If it is from God it will lead us into a fuller and deeper relationship with Him. If it is not we must put down that “gift” and walk, no, run the other way.
© 2014. Michelle Fritz. All rights reserved.