The Good vs. Evil Plot
Have you ever tried talking with someone else about something you were excited about when it came to helping/loving others, and you were met with indifference? Or were given a weird look and the subject was changed because that cause was just too raw? Scowled at or scolded? De-friended on Facebook or, God forbid, even in real life?!
Trust me, you aren’t alone! Those things have happened to me and others time and time again. Most people who are intentionally trying to do good confess to me how difficult it is to keep going, and how they are so secretly angry that so few around them care. (This is one of the reasons why we need a community to support each other as we fight this fight!)
And when I mean fight, I mean fight. But not with ninja stars and grenade launchers, rather, with the sacrifice of prayer, unconditional love, and radical perseverance and gentle truth.
Because really, we are in a war that so few notice. Being a big fiction reader, slowly chugging away novelist, and book reviewer, I see the classic “good vs. evil” storyline driving a huge portion of plots. And there is something to it. As a science, just like music and math, it is ingrained within the DNA of humanity for this conflicted storyline to draw us in.
Why? Well, because we live this good vs. evil war on a day-to-day basis. Except most of us are caught up in the Matrix, and live unaware.
But if we woke up to this good vs. evil plot-line, could we change the world? What if we lived as if we were in an epic war? As if we had to battle so that our neighbors would survive? What if we embraced a wartime lifestyle?
Why Should We Live As If We Are In An Epic War?
Many attentive followers of Jesus already believe that there is a spiritual battle happening around us, with legit angels and demons and unseen forces in the spiritual realms (Ephesians 6:12). For myself, a fantasy reader/writer, this just is pretty cool, but in reality scares the pee out of me!
But even for those who are just into social good, and don’t share my spiritual beliefs, there is a driving awareness of the gaping need that just can’t be ignored.
Humanitarians and justice advocates alike know it is essential to act now. The suffering is just too great to risk inaction. The loss of lives alone would be of epic proportions if those currently pressing forward just stopped. Maintaining a world where justice and compassion are not carried out is simply not an option. We cannot go on with this degree of evil as accepted and manifest (evil that we often intentionally and unintentionally carry out ourselves).
With millions of fleeing refugees, millions recovering from extreme oppression, millions more entrapped and abused under oppression, millions in an unrelenting cycle of extreme poverty, millions pointlessly starving, millions without clean water. . . This evil will just continue to have devastating effects on humanity a whole until the world crumbles in on itself.
It is a seemingly impossible task to remedy, and yet we must try.
Or something like that, right? Do-gooders might try to focus on delaying the crumbling world, and saving the lives they can. Evangelists focus on saving souls. Then there are the people like me that try to do both–to offer compassion and fight the oppression of others in the now, but to also share that there is hope for the future.
In is urgent. It is huge. It is life or death. Those are all characteristics of war, right? It is a war in which we stand on one side or the other fighting for good or evil. Our response in this moment–in action or in apathy–will change our world.
- WWII Poster “He’s Watching You” in the public domain image via Northwestern
Our Next Steps
I’ve already written a number of “Wartime Lifestyle” posts that go into this a lot more. Be sure to follow Average Advocate via newsletter (optin on sidebar), Twitter, or Facebook so you don’t miss them! You can also skip to the next post in the series, Why We Don’t Try to Change the World & The Someone Who Did.
In the meantime:
- In the comments below or via email, tell me a story where you were met with indifference, resistance, or anger when you tried to get others on board to “fight the good fight” with you.
- Experiment: this week, daily tell yourself you are living in an epic war of good vs. evil. Does thinking this way change anything for you?
- Jesus was talking about something specific here–and the context wasn’t good vs. evil war or changing the world. But, in a way, do you think there is an application? Why or why not?
“Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26