When we see violence and other evil actions all around us—not only in the streets, but also the greed and cheating in politics and the corporate world—we ask the question, “What causes such lawlessness? And most importantly, “How can we reduce it?” Our Lord identified the cause of all evil behavior. We read His words in Matthew 15:19, “From the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.” Now before you say, “That’s not me,” recall that Paul the Apostle says we have all violated God’s moral laws. So since we are all prone to evil and evil originates in our core, our heart, we cannot hope to change our outward behavior unless the core is changed. Yes, we can and must treat symptoms of injustice by fostering justice and equity, living out and practicing love. In fact, good deeds of love, justice, and equity help soften the inner core and point people to the One who can change us on the inside—the Spirit of God. But it is He who transforms our core. He does it when we invite Jesus Christ to live inside of us. He helps us say no to evil behavior.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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