For the next couple of days, we will look at Psalm 34:12 – Do any of you want to live a life that is long and good? The watch your tongue! Keep your lips from telling lies! Turn away from evil and do good. Work hard at living in peace with others.
Today we will look at turning away from evil and doing good. Two of my favorite examples of this are the Apostle Paul and Jackie Hill Perry.
The Apostle Paul: Most of you are probably familiar with Paul’s story of his vision of Jesus on the road to Damascus. Paul went from being a person who killed Christians, to one of the leaders in the church. He turned away from evil and started doing good. He went from approving of the stoning of Steven to writing most of the New Testament.
A current example is Jackie Hill Perry (https://jackiehillperry.com ) who lived many years as a lesbian and struggled with gender confusion, says in her book Gay Girl, Good God that "...one day, the Lord spoke to me. He said, ‘Your girlfriend will be the death of you.' In that moment, the scripture for the wages of sin equal death finally clicked.”
Jackie goes on to say “Now, when I look at certain sins, it's not, 'Oh, I'm just doing this because I want to.' No, what in this sin do you think will satisfy me that God can't? It makes my processing of my issues a lot deeper, and it's also expanded my view of God.” Jackie is now a Christian speaker, writer and hip-hop artist. She is married and has four children.
In both situations a direct encounter with God made a quick and radical change. It’s the only thing that can change us so completely and so quickly.
Day 19 Challenge – Let’s ask God for a direct encounter with Him for today for both us and those we love. And let's turn from evil and do good.
Tomorrow we will look at the hard work required to live in peace with others.