“I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one” –John 17: 15
We live in a time and place where we need to protect each other. We need to love each other. We need to advocate for each other and want the best for each other. But isn’t that hard somedays? It can be a struggle, especially when we look at someone and think they are wrong, or they aren’t living as God called us to, or we have decided what God wants for us or for someone else. Except that we don’t actually get to decide those things. Each of us has our own relationship with God and we must work through that to know how God is going to use us, and what our response is going to be to God’s call on our life. This verse from John reminds us that we are not here to judge what is right or wrong for someone else’s life, but it is part of our call to protect one another from evil. To see when evil is lurking, and it doesn’t always have to be the important things. Maybe it’s when someone is down on themselves and needs help to see the good or to escape the negative self-talk. Perhaps it’s looking at destructive patterns and behavior in our lives and finding ways to lift ourselves and others out of that. Maybe evil lurks when we have turned from God and found idols in other parts of our lives. Protecting one another from the evil one is a part of our call to live in good faith with one another, to lift up the lowly, to walk humbly with God. Jesus doesn’t want us to further separate us from one another through condemnation and judgement, but to protect one another from just that, to protect us from the evil one who separates us from God and one another. We are blessed to be a blessing, let’s remember that in how we treat one another.