Today in the United States, it’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This day brings two things to my mind: humanity’s propensity for evil and mankind’s potential for good.

Now there’s no doubt in my mind that we are naturally evil. You don’t have to teach children to lie or be selfish. They just naturally are until (hopefully) they’re taught not to be. We as humans naturally lean towards being evil. I know this, but even still, I’m sometimes surprised by our ability to do wrong. I’m shocked that people hate other people just because of the color of their skin or where they’re from or how they were raised. Even though I wasn’t alive at the time, I’m ashamed of the way people were treated before the Civil Right Movement and before people like Martin Luther King, Jr. stepped up to try to change things. This day reminds me that humans are capable of incredible evil and our only hope of change is through the influence of something outside of ourselves.

The blame for our evil is all ours, but our potential for good relies completely on God. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man who could have just accepted the way things were or he could have reciprocated evil for evil. Instead, he was a man who was submitted to God and allowed God to use him. As a result of his relationship with God, he played a pivotal part in the desegregation of America. I believe that God increased his potential way far beyond what he would have been able to do himself. And that’s true for all of us. A relationship with God can increase your potential way more than being born into the right family, having connections, or getting an education ever could. God can help us turn from evil, from our sins, and accomplish the good that He has for us.