Hi, everyone. I’ve never believed the devil to be anything other than a metaphor – an externalised personification of the potential for evil that exists in every human being. This is an aspect of ourselves many find it more comfortable to ignore, deny or disown. However, because we have free will, we always have a choice between actions that hurt, or help, others, and ourselves. Sadly, selfishness, ignorance, corruption, greed, deceit and violence are rife in all societies, causing terrible suffering for many around the world. However, we can counteract this by working steadily to change our own thoughts, words, actions and behaviour in line with Jesus’ teaching. This helps us to set an example as best we can in all our relationships, with the good effects rippling out into society. Furthermore, we can pray for those inflicting suffering, and for those on the receiving end, in all societies.

* Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins (Ecclesiastes 7:20; NIV).
* I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless (Isaiah 13:11; NIV).
* Do not be angry beyond measure, LORD; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look on us, we pray, for we are all your people (Isaiah 64:9; NIV).

Despite the coming of your glorious Son,
Our world is dark,
For when we turn our backs on you
Our propensity for evil
Runs unchecked.

Greed, arrogance and ruthlessness –
Nothing is too vile to be inflicted
On those weaker than ourselves.
The thought of loving our enemies
Never enters our minds.

Lord, help us all to grasp
The suffering we cause to others
Through our sinful thoughts, words and deeds.

Help us to repent,
To beg your forgiveness,
And to change our lives –
Before your patience finally runs out.

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