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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)

TITLE: Good AND Bad? (ii)
By Lindsay Bonilla


Good and Bad. Good and Bad. I’ve heard these words put together my whole life until they’ve started sounding natural to my ears.

I mean, how many times have I been told, “You’ve got to take the good with the bad?” Too many times to count! And every time I hear those words, I can’t help but ask, “Why? Why do I have to take good and bad if I’d really only like the good?”

Or then there’s my favorite. You’re in the doctor’s office, or at school, or across the desk from your boss; you’re on pins and needles as you await some important, potentially life-changing information, when you hear the famous words: “Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news. Would you like to hear the good news or the bad news first?” And you’re sitting there thinking (if you’re honest with yourself), “What do you mean bad news! Of course I don’t want to hear bad news! I don’t want bad news! I only want good news!” But you don’t have a choice about the kind of news you receive, only about the order in which you receive it.

Good and bad. Yes, good and bad. We always heap them together. But today, for the first time, I’m wondering why it’s good and bad, instead of good or bad. That would make a lot more sense, wouldn’t it? Shouldn’t they be mutually exclusive entities instead of joined at the hip?

I’m pretty sure that was how it was supposed to be. In fact, I think at the outset, there was no such thing as bad. For God created everything – and He said that everything was good! God didn’t want us to have to take the good with the bad – He just wanted to give us the good.

But then we humans had to get all high and mighty, thinking that we knew what was good for us. Of course, you know how the story goes. We chose evil. Given the choice, we chose bad over good. What were we thinking?! Apparently what we’re still thinking since we’ve continued choosing bad for centuries right up until the present moment. Ahh, choices. . . Through the power of our choice, we, not God, made good and bad co-exist.

So now, there’s good news, and there’s bad news. Which do you want first? I’ll give you the bad news – the consequence of our choice. The bad news is that you (and me too!) are in debt so far over your head that you’ll never be able to pay up—not even if you worked your entire life to do so. Your sin is piled so high on top of you that the weight of it will surely crush you in death. Bad news. Are you wishing I’d given you the good news first?

Well, don’t fear, because the good news is that your debt has already been paid. Paid up front, in full, no strings attached -- a free gift. But, that can’t be, you say. Who would care enough about little old me to do me such a huge favor? And I will tell you – it was the one you rejected. The one who always wanted good for you, even when you chose bad. It was the one who crawled into your bottomless pit and pushed you out, only to be crushed in death by your heavy load of sin. It was Jesus.

In Him, we have only good news; while in the world, a brief glimpse at a newspaper or a few seconds of television, will confirm that we have only bad news. There’s good news in Jesus. There’s bad news in the world. So which do I choose? Which do you choose? There can be no good and bad in this choice. They cannot co-exist. Choose. And remember, it’s one or the other.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 05/17/09
Personally, I'm thinking I would prefer "good OR bad" too! And not both. :) You skillfully wove this into a devotion. Nice work!