Home > Bible, Christianity, community > My Mentor is Evil…

My Mentor is Evil…

There is something deep within us that is drawn to evil. In the imaginary world of children, it is more fun to be the bad guy. The most memorable roles in books or movies are often the antagonist. Being mean is, at least temporarily, cathartic.

But being is also something that eats away at our soul. If we continually choose to be mean, we start to realize to become hard people, incapable of loving or being loved. We begin to believe that the whole world is against us, and therefore it is our mission to return the favor.

Mean people, people who continually choose to be mean, hate the entire world – they even hate themselves.

And the more I encounter people like this, the more I want to believe that deep down there is no hope for them. If I experience someone being mean, they lose credibility in my eyes.

But this is not how the Bible teaches me to act.


In 1 Kings, we encounter King Ahab, of whom it is said:

“There was never a man like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord…he behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols.”

The story of Ahab is one great example of knowing what God requires and doing the exact opposite.

Yet, as I read the story of Ahab, he has become a mentor for me. Here is what Ahab is teaching me:

No one is too evil to be an instrument of God’s work in the world.

Ahab places his trust in the pathetic prophets of Baal. Ahab uses his wife, Jezebel, to take things that he cannot get himself. Ahab is evil. But in 1 Kings 20, a prophet comes to Ahab and tells him that YHWH will use Ahab to do YHWH’s work in the world. And what God promises, God delivers.

No one is too evil to be used by God. That is why God is God and I am not.

We can be held responsible for the sins of our community.

After Jezebel, Ahab’s wife, kills their neighbor because they want his vineyard, Ahab is held responsible by God for the sin Jezebel committed.

Our sin does not exist in a vacuum. What we do effects other people, and I cannot be so naive to think that the sins I am committing only affect me.

What’s most interesting is that Ahab does not complain about being held responsible for this sin. Instead, he humbles himself and repents.

God’s forgiveness is unlimited in its scope.

Amazingly, God forgives Ahab! This is even more amazing in light of the fact that just a few verses before God uses Elijah to tell Ahab that dogs will eat his family.

Ahab repents, and God forgives him and saves his life from a ferocious pack of dogs.

Godly leaders seek Godly counsel – no matter how inconvenient it might be.

Ahab joins Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, in a conversation about taking over the nearby kingdom through force. Jehoshaphat agrees to join Ahab if YHWH approves of it. So Ahab calls all the prophets of Baal, his yes-men, who tell him that it is the Lord’s will.

But Jehoshaphat is skeptical, and when he asks for a prophet of the Lord, Ahab tells him there is one, but he does not like him because he constantly tells him things he does not like to hear.

Micaiah comes and does exactly that. And Ahab dies.

We can;t just surround ourselves with people who tell us what we want to hear.

Godly leaders take responsibility for their actions.

Ahab’s story ends when he decides to remove his royal robes and enter battle dressed as a normal soldier. His actions are in response to his desire to be responsible for the choices he had made earlier. He knows the other army is looking for a King in royal robes to kill. He thinks he can escape his responsibility by tricking those to whom he is responsible.

Instead, he dies and Jehoshaphat, who was dressed in royal robes, does not die.


Lord, help me to see the Ahab within me. Help me to see that I can learn from mean people. Help me to see that you use mean people. Help me to see that this means you can use even me.

  1. JW
    December 11, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Without contrast, we are blind. Without balance, we fall. Good and evil cannot exist without judgement. Judgement is an end, humility is a beginning.

  2. maria
    January 15, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    Without repentance, there can be no way we can see Christ.

    Good words… Thank you.


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