Inventors create products with a purpose in mind. Alexander Graham Bell created the telephone for long-distance communication. Wilbur and Orville Wright invented the airplane for advanced transportation. The makers of Sudafed developed pseudoephedrine to relieve cold and flu symptoms. And Philo Farnsworth invented the television to allow people around the world to learn about each other, in the hopes of settling differences around a conference table instead of the battlefields of world wars.
But we’ve seen these purposes perverted. Telemarketers harass their subjects over the phone. Terrorists hijack airplanes and turned them into deadly missiles. Broadcast media polarize viewers by highlighting division and presenting greedy and sexually exploitative cultural norms. Addicts cook pseudoephedrine to make methamphetamine.
Similarly, the great architect of the universe invented with a good purpose in mind.
When Moses wrote the first chapter of Genesis, he punctuated one point. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth . . . And God saw that it was good (verse 10).”
He reiterates the goodness of creation again in verses 4, 12, 18, 21, 25 and 31. His point: every created thing possesses a good purpose. Yet each one also carries a similar and proportionate capacity for bad. No created thing is morally neutral.
Whatever you can imagine was created through Jesus, according to scripture (John 1:3). And he created it with a good purpose. Make your own list: animals, trees, the ocean, people, emotions (yes, even anger), money, sex . . . Each of these possesses a divine purpose for good.
So how does bad happen? When we pervert the purpose. The devil has no creative powers, but he can lead astray. God created sex to satisfy our longing for intimacy in marriage. Utilize this gift in marriage, God says, and it will bless us. Use it outside of marriage, and we do ourselves a disservice.
As we weigh various purposes, we see a litmus test for life. Am I using this thing for its created purpose? Why am I finding myself in this situation? Lord, what do you want to teach me here? We need to ask ourselves these questions, then try to decipher the Lord’s purpose. When we discover it, we should follow that path with tenacity, no matter the cost.
What creation have you used for good? How?
For what creation have you perverted its use? How?
What were the outcomes?
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