I have been enjoying a few interesting shows on Netflix lately, from Marvel Comics: Jessica Jones and Daredevil. I was apprehensive about watching them, thinking they would be just another corny superhero tale of good guys and bad guys. Traditionally, these types stories are told with clear lines of distinction, separating good from bad at polar ends of the spectrum. The good guys were ALWAYS good and never deficient in character, while the bad guys were ALWAYS bad, and for no apparent reason. However, the writers of these shows blur the clearly drawn lines of good guy and bad guy; making the characters more complicated and giving them dynamics and range further than their traditional dimensions. This approach is really truer to life because all of us are simply complicated.
If I were to ask if you are a good person, I’m certain that most people would answer in the affirmative. Just about everyone I know believes they are, themselves, good, and hhardly anyone would dare say they were not. But then, if I were to follow-up by asking if you have ever stolen anything, or have you ever lied, or have you ever talked about someone behind their back? Most of us have done all those things. Many of us have even intentionally harmed others, either physically or verbally. Do good people do these things? When faced with the startling reality of our ability to do evil, we come to grips with the fact that we are all simply complicated.
Everyone who is “good” is not good always. Everyone has skeletons in their closet, because we all do wrong. I was tempted to say, like we always do, everyone makes mistakes, but not all the wrong we do qualifies as a mistake. Yet we can always find a justification for the wrong we do. On the flip side of that coin, not every “bad” person is all bad. Everyone has some redeeming qualities. If you would be honest with yourself, you would see that we are all simply complicated.
But I am so glad to know that God can still use complicated people, in their complicated lives. While there are many out there who may not like me and believe, for whatever reason, that I’m not a good guy (like I think I am), God still finds redeeming qualities in me. And I’m in good company. Abraham was a liar and a coward. Moses was impulsive and a murderer. Samuel was controlling. David was an adulterer. Solomon was “ladies man”. Peter was quick-tempered. Thomas was a doubter and Paul persecuted innocent people. We call all these people our biblical heroes, when the truth of the matter is, they were all like you and I: simply complicated.
So when you’re tempted to write people off, deeming them good or bad, remember that God sees us all and He knows all that we’ve done. He is fully aware of every intentional mistake, and is absolutely acquainted with our complications; yet He chooses to respond in love. He just simply loves us anyway. And if He can choose to love complicated people, I believe He can empower us to love one another. People are complicated, love is simple.
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8, English Standard Version
© 2016 Derek J. Murphy Enterprises, and I AM KINGDOM Publishing, All Rights Reserved
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