The capacity for evil.
This morning, we awoke to the news that a local 10-year old girl’s body had been found. Having seen the Amber Alert last night and knowing the available details of her kidnapping, our hearts were crushed that this story would end in such tragedy. I can’t process the horror her family faces or the horrifying events that filled the final hours of this little girl’s life.
This morning’s news posted a picture of the arrested suspect, and as I looked at that middle-aged man, I couldn’t help but wonder how a human being does such a thing. What sort of sickness or personal abuse launches a man on such a disgusting spiral that he would steal innocence and life from a child? Though our courts will do their best, there really isn’t a punishment that truly fits such a crime.
But the events also reminded me of the capacity for evil that resides in each of us. We think such evil is reserved for monsters, and perhaps it is, but one isn’t born a monster. Somehow life’s events can shape such a grotesque result in a man’s life. Somehow choices become darker and darker. Somehow the mind becomes convinced that such evil behavior makes sense.
The Bible tells us to “keep our way pure.” Don’t let evil in. Like God told Cain, “Sin is crouching at your door.” Now I’m not saying that small compromises with righteousness will lead you to kill the innocent, but those compromises will lead you somewhere. And that destination isn’t a place you’d really choose at the start of the journey.
Don’t think that small steps don’t matter. Every choice has a destination, even if it doesn’t have an immediate consequence. So choose wisely in the little things and watch them add up to the life you want. Choose poorly, and that path accumulates too, and may reveal a capacity for tragic choices you never thought you’d find.