This past February I wrote a two part series on the problem with evil. The problem with evil is, its beauty. I’d written about how hard it is for us, even saved Christians, to grapple with a very present evil in our lives, and the difficulty of identifying it correctly. The worst evil is so beautiful, so harmless-seeming, so gentle, that our minds often refuse to discern it.
Leslie Vernick at the Association of Biblical Counselors wrote an essay titled
In her introduction, she writes:
As Christian counselors, pastors and people helpers we often have a hard time discerning between an evil heart and an ordinary sinner who messes up, who isn’t perfect, and full of weakness and sin.
I think one of the reasons we don’t “see” evil is because we find it so difficult to believe that evil individuals actually exist. We can’t imagine someone deceiving us with no conscience, hurting others with no remorse, spinning outrageous fabrications to ruin someone’s reputation, or pretending he or she is spiritually committed yet has no fear of God before his or her eyes.
She summed up exactly what I’d been writing about a few months ago, but shorter. It’s clear, scriptural, and helpful. Of course, I hope you never have to encounter a truly evil person, but if you do, this piece will help you discern it.
The piece5 Indicators of an Evil Heart is organized into ten slides with a photo and a short blurb, with scripture, that help the counselor, pastor or layperson identify evil from a temporary stumble. I offer this essay to you as a very good resource.