Turn away from evil

‘I will teach you the fear of the Lord . . . turn from evil and do good;’ Psalm 34.11-14

The next step on our journey of how to fear the Lord concerns our actions. It is about changing the way we are living and going in the opposite direction – turning from evil and doing good. The slight issue here is that many of us might wonder whether we really are evil? We probably wouldn’t say that we are perfect, but is it really appropriate to call us or our actions evil? If we are not directly involved in evil, then from what are we meant to turn?

The word translated ‘evil’ also means calamity or badness. Certainly we are not to turn our backs on those who are going through hard times or mishaps, but what we are called to do is to adopt God’s attitude to evil. This means not regarding it as the dominating force around us; refusing to believe that there is not much we can do about it and not giving in to the helplessness that so often accompanies distress.

There is always something we can do to combat evil, and the action to which we are called is to do good. We can look for ways to bring good into the situations that weigh people down. To do good is not to wait until an opportunity lands in our laps, but to walk around with open eyes seeking to say something, pray for someone, intercede for them and help them. We are being called to be a blessing in as many situations as we can.

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