May 19, 2016 • By Ed Wrather
Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. – 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 NKJV.
Paul Allen is a co-founder of Microsoft, which he left some time ago. In these days, Paul is known for his philanthropy giving in support of primarily coral reef restorations. One of his projects has been in support of the West Bay Coral Reef in the Cayman Islands. Recently, Allen’s 300-foot yacht dropped anchor, it dropped anchor on the West Bay Coral Reef and caused some damage. They dropped anchor and destroyed 80% of the reef! (National Geographic 01.16.16; The Guardian 01.28.16)
Paul Allen is an example of a well-meaning person, or well intentioned person; who when they try to help, instead of actually helping cause damage. Dictionary dot com defines well-meaning as: “having or indicating good or benevolent intentions, usually with unfortunate results.” Have you ever encountered a “well-meaning” person? Have you ever been a “well-meaning” person?
Another question that needs to be asked is this: Is being a “well-meaning” person wrong in God’s eyes? Dictionary dot com defines evil in this way: “morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked - harmful; injurious - characterized or accompanied by misfortune or suffering; unfortunate; disastrous - anything causing injury or harm - a harmful aspect, effect, or consequence.” The answer to the question is that a “well-meaning person” is in the wrong when they cause harm. This is why we are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 to “abstain (or avoid – GNT and CNT) every kind of evil.”
Unintentionally causing harm can come about in innocent ways. It may be a lack of information, or the wrong information that causes an action that results in harm. Apparently, whoever was piloting Paul Allen’s 100-yard long yacht did not have the right information about the location of their ship in relation to the reef. When you are captain of a ship a football field long you need to be cautious of where you pilot the ship, and where you drop a very heavy anchor. When you are a human ship you also need to be careful of which way you turn the rudder. James 3:4-6 tells us, “Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.” Where are you piloting your ship today?