When I was a kid, I loved books, shows and movies where the bad guy was clearly bad, and the good guys weren’t perfect, but did their best in difficult circumstances (admittedly, I still do!). It seems, however, that more and more often, media focuses on the bad guys, even making them sympathetic, even making evil actions seem noble, if only in intent, whereas the “good guys” often are portrayed as flawed, idiomatic, and, at times, just plain silly. Don’t get me wrong, I love when a “bad guy” gets redeemed, but I don’t want to relate to a bad guy, unless it’s to see how far I’ve fallen. It reminds me of Perelandra, the second book in C.S. Lewis’ space trilogy, where the Un-man (a possessed associate of the main character) is trying to convince the Queen of Perelandra (Venus) that to disobey God’s command would be a noble sacrifice, and would be cheered by generations to come.
I won’t give away the book’s plot or details, but isn’t this how the enemy convinces us that our own rebellion against our designer is justified? Doesn’t Satan want us to be convinced that God is a tyrant, and our own rebellion is noble and just? Friends, I have no sympathy for Satan, or any other devil for that matter. There is nothing noble about evil and rebellion against Good, and the only good is God. In such ways lie death, and there, also, a second, Spiritual death. Dear Christ follower, we need to hold fast to what is good and resist what the enemy seeks to do in us. Even further, our lives should be light in the world, and darkness and light are incompatible. Have no sympathy for devils, hold fast to Christ, and He will show you what is good.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.