“The glory of a good person is the evidence of a good conscience. Have a good conscience and you will always be happy. A good conscience can bear a great deal and still remain serene in the midst of adversity, while a bad conscience is fearful and easily ruffled. Only be glad when you have done well. Evil persons are never really happy, nor do they feel peace within them; for ‘there is no peace for the wicked, says the Lord’ (Isa. 48:22). Even though the wicked may protest that peace is theirs and that no evil shall harm them, do not believe them. For God’s wrath will suddenly overtake them, and all they have done will be brought to nothing and their plans destroyed.” — Thomas á Kempis
There was a woman at my former workplace who wore a shirt that said, “Believe in the Goodness” and then high lighted the words, “Be the Good” within the phrase. I had watched this individual for some time. I would not dare judge her but her actions were far from good. I would see her hug a resident then ignore them when they needed something. She played office politics with a vengeance and would organize those who worked under her supervision to attack others in the workplace. She would tell lies, cover up abuse, and bad mouth the other supervisors to staff whenever she felt she could get away with it. When she smiled at me I would check my back to see if there was a knife stuck in it.
We will encounter people like this in life. When we do, there is a strong temptation to write them off and avoid them if it is at all possible. However, I believe doing so is not in our spiritual best interest. I understand how difficult it can be to discern evil from good. I am well aware that evil loves to masquerade as good. I know I have been deceived into making decisions that were not good all the while thinking they were.
Discernment is not an easy road. It is the road less taken. It requires patience, caution, and a lot of hard work. It requires discipline and much, much prayer. This is especially true when we are dealing with decisions about people. We do not know the heart of others. We likely have a limited understanding of their background, experiences and current situation. We can know that God loved them enough to become a human and die for them. They are sacred.
I did not make any comment to the woman about how I felt concerning her shirt. I just prayed that God would make it so for her. Be the Good!