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When Good People Do Nothing

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Edmund Burke observed: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” More often than not, those who profess to be good people seem to clearly outnumber those who are evil, yet those who are evil seem to prevail far too often. But it isn’t just about the numbers, but whether those who claim to be good people are willing to stand up and fight for what they know to be right!

When good people do nothing, they get nothing good done. To be good one must do good! Jesus “went about doing good” (Acts 10: 38). We must “devote ourselves to doing what is good” (Tit. 3: 8,14). We are to be an example “by doing what is good.” (Tit. 2: 7). When good people do nothing, they get nothing good accomplished.

When good people do nothing, they help evil to triumph. Evil, and sin must be actively opposed. Ephesians 5: 11 says: “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” The works of darkness are unfruitful i. e. they are vain, empty, and unproductive of any spiritual good or benefit to either God or man. Thus, not sharing in the unfruitful works of darkness is not enough. It is not enough to just avoid them. We must reprove or expose them by word of mouth and by our deeds. In the fight against evil there is no middle ground, no gray area, no neutrality. If we are not actively and vigorously fighting against evil, we are helping evil to triumph!

When good people do nothing, they are no longer good. Good is not merely the absence of doing what is wrong. Thus, one is good, not merely because he does no evil, but because he is actively working for what is good. Goodness is a positive quality, not merely the absence of the bad! Good people are concerned about the “Thou shalts,” not just the “thou shalt nots.”

Don’t allow evil to triumph. Don’t sit by and do nothing. Stand up and be counted and speak out against evil. Think on these things.

Dennis Abernathy

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