How Much Evil Lurks Within You?
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The Shadow was a radio show which first aired in 1930. The haunting voice of the narrator introduced each show with these words: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?” Then he would say: “The Shadow knows.” The real life irony is that we all try to keep whatever evil we recognize within ourselves hidden in the shadows. We must all come to grips with the reality that there is evil within each of us. This is precisely why we need a Savior. Please read more.
Volumes have been written throughout the millennia regarding the battle between good and evil. The novella of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, written by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson made such an impact that the phrase Jekyll and Hyde entered the vernacular as a way to refer to people with an unpredictably dual nature: usually very good, but sometimes shockingly evil instead.
Most of us are equally familiar with the story of the old Cherokee who was teaching his grandson about life.
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
”It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil and the other is good.” The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed the most.”
Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his work The Gulag Archipelago wrote: “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
He went on further to write: “the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts. This line shifts inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains … an un-uprooted small corner of evil.”
He continued with this insight: “It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person.”
Finally, he added this ominous warning about the evil within each of us: “In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future.”
There is no doubt that evil is within all of us. Scripture makes this clear in Mark 7:20:23 which states: “But what comes out of a person, that is what defiles. From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.”
Jesus once taught that a house divided cannot stand. I think we can infer that a heart divided is also on shaky ground.
So just what percentage of our heart does God want? We find that answer in both Matthew 22:30 and Luke 10:27 where we read this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”
It is clear that Jesus wants all of our heart. Yes, He wants 100%. So just where is the dividing line in your heart? Does it split down the middle? Are you divided 50/50, 60/40, 70/30 or some other percentage?
My friends, God desires our entire heart. Let’s offer up Psalm 51:12 every day: “A clean heart create for me, God; renew within me a steadfast spirit.” We should also heed the advice of Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely.”
If Solzhenitsyn was correct when he said “Even in the best of all hearts, there remains … an un-uprooted small corner of evil,” then let’s turn that part of our heart over to Jesus as well, so that through Him, it too can be nailed to the cross.
Permit me to ask you: Who knows what evil lurks in your heart? You do of course, and so does God. Recommit all of your heart to God this day. Which part of your heart will win out in the end? The one you feed the most. Feed your heart with prayer, with fasting, with scripture and with the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father I offer you my entire heart this day in the name of your Son, our Lord, Jesus the Christ, amen.
- In what ways do you feed your evil side?
- In what ways are you feeding your good side?
- What needs to change in your life in order to have an undivided heart for God?
As always, I love to read your comments below as well as hear from you personally by clicking here.
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Brian – I’m new here and curious to know who led the retreat that changed your heart.
This article is very evocative. It asks what percentage of my heart do I give to God. 100% I cry. But do I really at all times? Hmmm, good question that I will ponder.
I went on an eight day silent retreat at a place called the House of Prayer in Clearwater, FL It was an amazing, life changing experience.
The appetite of the wolves do not deminish in our elder years. Be on guard until death parts us from this life.
Your message is always enlightening, blessings.
You are so right!
Hi Brian-great reading your posts again. Hope all is well with you and the family. Deacon Peter Tonon
Thanks for your post. We are all blessed. I hope the same for your family.
It’s a work in progress for sure. But one must never give up and ask the Good Lord for strength to overcome evil. I find with age my heart becomes more mellow. Thanks for the good read Brian.
Thanks for your post. you are so right, we are always a work in progress!
Excellent principals to study grasp digest and give totally to our Lord A daily commitment
Thanks you for writing. It is great to hear from you.
Trying to feed the good wolf. A daily challenge. Good job.
It is a never ending struggle. Both wolves are voracious eaters. Thanks for writing.