Discerning Good and Evil

…the mature…have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. ESV Hebrews 5:14

My wife and I had a wonderful date night last night, and decided to watch Wonder Woman. As with all great story lines, the plot very much followed the Biblical teaching of good vs. evil and the creation, fall, redemption narrative. Some of the lines in the movie were basically quotes of Scripture, while others were significantly opposed to Scripture. When movies like this parallel the Biblical narrative, we find ourselves drawn to them, as something within us inherently confirms their message. Perhaps this partially explains why Wonder Woman has been so successful.

While certain movies make sense of the evil in life, we must ask ourselves if we are able to do the same. In Wonder Woman, Zeus created mankind in his image, the influence of Aries encouraged war and evil, and the offspring of the God/woman created a deliverer for humanity. While on one level it functioned as entertainment, it did posit an explanation for some of the big questions faced in life. Similarly, as we grow in our spiritual formation, as we have our senses trained, we should be able to posit similar answers and explanations to the things going on around us. Just as Diana was confident Aries was behind the war, we can be confident in the power of sin and the Deceiver. Like Diana, we realize that not only is Satan working to bring death and destruction, but we ourselves have been marred by sin, accomplishing much of the evil in the world on our own accord. Just as only Diana could defeat Aries, so we know only Jesus has defeated Satan.

My greatest burden in writing this post though, is to remind us that the Biblical account is real, and not a comic book. In essence, we really are Diana’s motley crew, joining Jesus Christ as He delivers the world. As we read the news, interact with our neighbors, and work with our coworkers, our senses should become increasingly sensitive to the world around us. Evil shouldn’t take us by surprise. Our confidence in Christ to overcome all evil should be unshaken. We should see Christ at work in the world as the church brings light into darkness. Increasingly, may our senses be trained by practice to discern the work of our Savior.

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