In a worldly sense, you are probably a pretty decent person. I’m assuming here, but I’m guessing most of the people who read these words are fairly normal, even virtuous on the bell-curve of human morality. And though I can’t be certain, I’m sure there are not many Mussolinis or Gacys or Hitlers among our modest readership.
But, and I don’t mean this rudely, evil abounds. I read a puritan quote this morning that summed up my own heart at least: “Satan paints sin with virtue’s colors.”
Yep, that’s me.
I have no intentions of fascism or holocaust or to dress up a like a clown–or any such thing–as a ruse for my murderous trappings. But I have this pride that won’t let me admit that I am wrong. I have a superiority that values my own “tidy” habits over and above the unclean habits of those around me. I have an ego that cares desperately for what people think of me in a way that blinds me to actually thinking (and caring) about other people the way that I ought.
There are many such colors that masquerade as good or all right or decent or upright that are in actuality destroying us from the inside out. These “minor sins” are ravaging our hope and eroding our joy, for sin always disconnects us from the rivers of life and leaves us staggering about deserts with only bottles of salt water which masquerade as life-giving. But they merely dry us out more and cause even deeper self-deception.
Today, if you were to get really honest with yourself (and perhaps allowed someone you love and trust to get really honest with you), what areas of your life are colored by the enemy’s brushstrokes? What motivations are causing subtle decay? What is festering unchecked?
Genuine virtue is offered to us, and with it comes life. Let us not settle for the counterfeit just because it doesn’t come with immediate consequence. There is a better choice, and may we strive to become people who yearn for the better.