Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Stopping Exploding Ferries of Wickedness

Suggested Reading: Proverbs 28:4-10

In the movie, The Dark Knight, there is an incredibly powerful scene involving a couple of ferries. The Joker has stranded two ferries out in the middle of the water and given the passengers of each ferry a detonator to blow up the other ferry, promising to blow them both up if no one has pushed the button by midnight. The Joker wants to prove that people are selfish and self centered but he also wants to use the ferries to distract Batman from coming after him and to throw the city into turmoil. Batman ignores the ferries, believing the people on those boats will choose to do the right thing, and focuses on taking down the Joker. The people on those boats do choose to do the right thing or, at least, not to do the wrong thing, and were a part of beating Joker at his own game.

There is a Proverb that speaks to that scene. Proverbs 28:4 says, To reject the law is to praise the wicked; to obey the law is to fight them (NLT). By simply doing the right thing, the people on those ferries were fighting back against the Joker, but that same dynamic can be seen throughout life. When people set up prejudicial rules that penalize people for existing, we can fight them by doing the right thing and refusing to treat people differently. When people seek to change the moral fabric of society by redefining right and wrong and painting those who disagree as bigots, we can fight them by living moral lives and loving those who would smear us. When people try to provoke us by stealing from us, cheating us, or lying about us, we can fight them and prove them wrong by refusing to stoop to their level, by continuing to live lives of faith and righteousness.

When the wicked seem to win, it can be tempting to "fight fire with fire," but the nature of the fight means we can't win that way. Just as darkness can only be banished by turning on the light, wickedness can only be fought with righteous living. If someone has been attacking you or your family, don't give in to the temptation to fight them back on the same terms. Do the right thing. Fighting like the wicked only validates them, but righteous living will ultimately defeat them.

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