Life has no guarantees.  There is no guarantee of anything more than the moment we have - so if we don’t use today well, then we’ve really got ourselves fooled. (Paula Davey: Song for Sarah).

Lord, I receive all the works of the cross you bore for me. I receive the constant energy that flows from your Holy Spirit. Lord, I receive your Lordship in my life. Lord, I receive your endless love for me and make it mine. Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ. (Max Lucado)

Darkness, no matter how ominous and intimidating, is not a thing or force: it is merely the absence of light. So light need not combat and overpower darkness in order to displace it.  Where light is, darkness is not. A small candle, practically a thimbleful of light, will therefore banish a roomful of darkness.

The same is true of good and evil: evil is not a thing or force, but merely the absence or concealment of good. One need not "defeat" the evil in the world; one need only bring to light the world’s inherent goodness.

But evil doesn't exist in the same way that goodness exists. God wants goodness, so its existence is true and everlasting. Paul wrote to the Ephesians that they should walk as children of the light, discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. The fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness and truth (Eph 5:8).

Evil exists as a negative, something God doesn't want, so its existence is flimsy and temporal. Evil is no more than an undesirable non-entity, a path not to be taken. By doing evil acts, we give evil more credit than it deserves. Our bad choices make evil into a truer existence than it really is. Paul is clear in this regard too as he writes the Ephesians should not participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead, expose them (Eph 5:11).

In the end, evil can't prevail. It is an unwanted ghost, a temporary illusion, a thin facade. Over time evil dissipates, no matter how menacing it may seem. Wicked empires crumble, rotten ideas become exposed, and goodness eventually shines through. That's what God wanted all along, but He leaves it to us to achieve.

The only way to banish the ghost of evil is to turn on the light of good. (

Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Everything exposed by the light is made clear, for what makes everything clear is light (Eph 5:13).

Gerrie Malan

[Published 29 August 2014]

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