By Jody Bennett
Why does “bad” feel so good?
Isn't it strange that we display bumper stickers that say things like "Bad to the Bone", "10% nice, 90% naughty" and have skulls on them, but it wouldn't be considered nearly so cool to have a sticker that said "Good guy", "Noble and honest" or "I love my spouse"?
Good is "wicked" or "sick" and icons of evil, like demons, devils, witches and the grim reaper are put on our T-shirts and backpacks.
We only find words like "pure" on food labels and "innocent" applying to children, and no one would put on their dating profile that they are "honourable", "modest" or "respectable".
There is a natural bent in us all towards rebellion. We can be enthralled by books about serial killers, vampires and zombies. We like violent cartoons and computer games that embrace the occult and are set in mad houses or haunted mansions. We like salacious gossip in our magazines and websites, and even many children's toys look like monsters or "bad guys".
Why do dark themes seem exciting, whereas goodness seems boring and staid?
Even in Biblical times God accused the Israelites of loving evil more than good (Psalms 52:3) and warned of a withdrawal of His blessing (i.e. a curse) on "those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness" (Isaiah 5:20).
The Bible says that "No one does good, not a single one. [...] For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard" (Romans 3).
But sin is not just something we do, sin is deep inside us. Even the Apostle Paul, who was a close follower of God, said: "I want to do what is right, but I can't. I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway ... because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin" (Romans 7:18-19, 24).
Sin is not just the bad things we do or the good we don't do, it is that natural bent in our heart towards all that is dark and wicked; and we are powerless within ourselves to change it.
The Bible says that when we choose to follow Jesus and commit our lives to Him, that old "me" dies and we are given a new life filled with new desires for good things. Our eyes are opened to all the pain and ugliness in the darkness and we have a new attraction for the wholesome goodness that comes from having a right relationship with God, a relationship that sets us free from our natural bent towards sin.