“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be either good or evil.” – Hannah Arendt.
I completely agree with this statement, because if we are not intentional about what we are choosing then by default we choose to be idle. To be idle destroys society. We must be proactive to create a culture that shows compassion and love to our fellow man. To sit by idly is to assume that things are just fine the way they are, and need not be changed.
One of my biggest frustrations is the apathetic mind. There are many apathetic leaders who choose to sit by while radical injustices are right in front of their face. This is a principle rooted in scripture. Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan to make a point of what loving our neighbors truly means. In that story he also shows us what it means to not love our neighbor. He gives two examples of apathetic leaders. They choose not to do good or evil. This is also convicting, as it means I, too, must act when I see an injustice. I cannot sit by idly, or I too play a part in perpetuating the evil.
In the story of the Good Samaritan, a man is beaten and left broke to die on the side of the road. Two religious leaders choose to just walk past him. These men knew the laws, they knew the commands, and they knew the right thing to do. They may have excuses that are justifiable; maybe someone was waiting for them, maybe they were running late. We get so busy with what we are doing that we miss the opportunities to genuinely show love to those in front of us. These men made an evil choice to leave a man on the side of the road when they could have helped. The unsuspecting hero is a man who had been marginalized throughout his life as a Samaritan. Jesus used this example to make it known that anyone can show love to his neighbor when we see our neighbor in need. We must take action when injustices are in front of us.
In James 4:17 we are told that when we fail to act on the good we know we ought to do, we are sinning against God. This in and of itself is an evil action. Sin separates us from God. The role of evil is to get us separated from God. This implies that the failure to do the good we know we ought to do is to choose evil over good. We tend to know the right choice but choose to just skip over it, which in turn shows evil or at the very least it allows evil to grow while we sit idly by.