“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” – Genesis 1:31
Did you ever consider that it probably takes more effort to do bad things than it does good? Think about it. Thieves, swindlers, drug dealers, and crooks of almost every variety put a lot of thought, planning, creativity and energy into their wicked endeavors. Consider Bernie Madoff who, like most slick shysters, didn’t spend all his time sitting on the beach. No, he was operating a huge business that required hard work on his part, not to mention the extra effort required to hide his dishonesty by appearing legitimate.
What if the same amount of time, talent, energy and hard work is used to do good instead of bad? I had not given much thought to this until recently when my wife brought it up one evening while watching the nightly news on TV, specifically some of the news stories about people doing really evil things. “With all the opportunities to do good,” she questioned, “why don’t people simply focus their efforts doing good instead of bad?” It’s a great question.
Two points I would like to make: The first is that our very creation as human beings is good, and for the purpose of doing good. “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him. . .” according to Genesis 1. “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.’ . . . God saw all that he made, and it was very good.” That is to say it is natural by our creation to be and to do good. Thus doing evil is contrary to nature by the fact that we are created in God’s image, and God declared that “it was very good.”
The second point is, I believe, that somewhere deep down in every person’s soul is a yearning to live a life that is meaningful and good. Some recognize the opportunities to do good and pour their efforts into those pursuits. Others become ensnared by evil unable to break free. I’d like to believe that even Bernie Madoff yearned for a life that was meaningful and good, but became trapped in his own evil scheme. With all the opportunities to do good, think what might have happened had he focused his efforts doing good instead of bad.