Saturday, February 20, 2010

Evil is a mighty foe but don't choose it

The forces of good and evil swirl around us every day. If a person doubts that, all he has to do is read the newspaper or surf the Internet.

Horrible stories are easy to find, and some events make us shake our heads and wonder why God allows it.

We often see this in the way leaders treat the people of their countries. We take for granted the freedom we have and that is too bad.

In a more general sense, when we look back through history, it is often easier to remember people who dedicated themselves to tearing people down instead of those who contributed positively to our culture.

For example, here is a list of eight people and the time period they lived. Let us see how many names are recognizable: Albrecht Durer (1471-1528), Johann Bullinger (1504-1575), Reginald Heber (1783-1826), Peter Parker (1804-1888), Karl Marx (1818-1883), Fanny Crosby (1820-1915), George Williams (1821-1905), and Adolf Hitler (1889-1945).

If we are honest, the first name that is easily recognizable is the last name on the list. Hitler was the leader of Germany in the first half of the 20th century. He was the catalyst for World War II and was responsible for the Holocaust among other things.

The second most recognizable person is likely Marx. No, he was not Groucho, Harpo, and Chico's brother. He was the founder of Marxism and the spread of communism over the last 150 years or so is a direct result of his philosophy. Since the heart of communism is based on atheism and the repression of people, Marx's impact on society is approximately the same as Hitler's.

What about the rest of the people on the list? Even though most of those people are largely unknown, they each contributed in a much more positive way to society than the previous two men.

The following synopsis of these people comes courtesy of the David C. Cooke Ministries. For example, Crosby was a blind woman who wrote the lyrics to approximately six thousand hymns. Her most well-known hymn is 'Blessed Assurance.'

Heber was a missionary to India and wrote the hymn 'Holy, Holy, Holy' among others. Williams was founder of the YMCA. Parker was a missionary to China. Bullinger wrote the most widely used confession of faith to come out of the Protestant Reformation. Durer was an artist and left a legacy of religious artwork.

So, what can we say about the legacy left by all the people mentioned here? When we read history books, it is pretty easy to find information about Hitler and Marx. They are certainly the most famous people listed here.

However, the other six people left much more lasting legacies than their famous counterparts. If we were to pick up a generic history book, these people would likely not be found. Sure, if we did some digging, we could find information on them, but there would be vastly more information on Hitler and Marx.

The big question we must ask ourselves is: What type of legacy do we want to leave? Mankind's vainglorious nature tends to crave fame by any means necessary. After all, people compromise their integrity every day on reality television programs. For the love of a lousy buck, people will do almost everything.

The bottom line is the biggest legacy we can all leave is to simply wake up each morning and just do the right thing. It may not be glamorous. It may not be sexy. It may not land a person on the cover of People magazine.

However, it will impact other people in ways that yield lasting, positive results.

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