“If you search for good, you will find it; but if you search for evil, it will find you!” Proverbs 11:27
We always find what we’re looking for. If we’re looking for someone to offend us, we’ll find it. If we’re looking for someone to fail us, we won’t have to wait long. If we’re looking for reasons to leave the church, you will find plenty. We always find what we’re looking for.
In recovery I heard people say “Meetings are like Prego spaghetti sauce.” It was a reference to the 80’s commercial/slogan “It’s in there!” Basically, If you’re looking for trouble “it’s in there.” If you’re looking for drugs “it’s in there.” If you’re looking for excuses to not go to meetings, “it’s in there,” The good news is this works the other way too! If you’re looking for recovery “it’s in there!” If you’re looking for healing “it’s in there!” If you’re looking for hope “it’s in there!” I promise you will find way more reasons to stay in the church, than leave it, but you have to look!
But this goes deeper. According to Solomon, when we look for evil, not only do we find it, it finds us! This is the difference between God and evil. God will not force Himself on us. He pursues us, daily, but in the end it is our decision. He wants us to choose to do the right thing. But evil is different. Sin is aggressive, coercive, manipulative, and deceptive. It finds you! You don’t even have to look for it. This why it is always easier to see what’s wrong with someone than what’s right. Because the second we turn to look for evil, evil is already there waiting. Finding good requires more energy. We have to take action. It requires a constant commitment to look for the good in each other. Because that doesn’t come naturally to us, evil does. We don’t have to find trouble, trouble find us!
What are you looking for today? Are you looking for a scapegoat in order to justify negative behavior? Or are you looking for ways to work on yourself? Are you looking for people to fall short, in order to justify your own shortfalls? Or are you looking for ways to cut someone some slack?
Today, I choose to look for the good. I’m looking for the Christ in the crisis. I’m looking for reasons to love, instead of reasons to hate. I’m looking for what’s right, instead of what’s wrong. I’m looking for the Image of God in the people I can’t stand. Because if God could forgive me, I can forgive someone who has hurt me. God has a multitude of reasons to reject me, and only one reason to accept me, but the one reason was enough! “Love covers a multitude of sins,” (1 Pt 4:8).