It’s not about “good” and “bad”.
That took me a long time to figure out.
Mostly because I grew up under a presentation of the Gospel of Jesus that gave us a laundry list of “to do’s” that were good and another laundry list of “don’t do’s” that were bad. If we did the good stuff, we were living right. If we did the bad stuff, we were living wrong.
This, apparently, has been an issue a lot longer than I’ve been following Jesus (or alive for that matter).
It all started in the beginning. Yes… the beginning of everything: Adam and Eve and all that.
In Genesis chapter 2 we see that God gave Adam and Eve the freedom to eat from every tree in that first garden, except one. They were told not eat from that tree, and God plainly laid out the consequence: “When you eat from it you will certainly die” (from verse 17).
God described that tree as “the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”
The Scriptures tell us there was another tree there as well. It was called “the Tree of Life.”
One rule. One tree. One fruit. And… They blew it.
They were more interested in knowing the difference between good and evil than living the life God had given them.
And… we’re too often found making that same decision.
The problem with “good” and “bad” is we find ways to work our own opinions into the matrix. We saturate it with preference instead of commandments.
We idolize that which is “good”.
We demonize that which is “bad”.
We affirm, retweet, praise, and support those that are “good”.
We attack those that are “bad”.
We swoop in like vultures and feast on their failure. We dine with delight on their demise.
We laugh at them, point fingers at them, post about them on Facebook, want to hit them, punish them, and ultimately enjoy their brokenness.
But… we’re all bad. All of us (ref Romans 3:22-24).
Even at our best, we’re broken.
Let’s not make the same mistake our Father, Adam, made. Let’s not become so concerned with “good” and “bad” that we forget the Gospel of Jesus is much bigger than that.
The real issue is “life” and “death”, and God has invited us to join Him in fight to bring life into the dead places of this world.
Let’s choose the right tree.
Let’s choose life.