"useful for the Master"
2 Timothy 2:20
I just finished reading a good-sized article about Alexander the Great. I didn't really know much about him. Haven't much thought about him since studying world history, I guess.
I think that he was a very controversial figure ~ at least to me. I don't really know how history views him. To each his own, I guess.... But in my mind, I couldn't decide if he should be admired for his military genius in conquering so much of the world, or criticized as a jerk who pillaged and plundered to his heart's content.
Well after reading the article, I'm kinda leanin' to the jerk side, to be honest. He came across as recklessly ambitious, and arrogant to me. Supposedly, he once said, "Sleep alone makes me conscious that I am mortal," and when told that the universe contains an untold number of worlds, Alexander broke down and cried, saying, "There are so many worlds and I have not yet conquered even one."
Now, you could say that he was the product of his times. I try to keep things like that in mind. Things were different in Alexander's day. One opinion I read was, "His life was not about money for himself, but about his growing curiosity, engaging and fulfilling his intellect, his consciousness..."
Like I said: To each his own. All each of us can do is gather facts, and then come to a conclusion.
But no matter what conclusion we come to when we evaluate others, we have to acknowledge the other side. In other words, I might not admire Alexander the Great, but I have to acknowledge his accomplishments. I can't argue with his leadership abilities, or his endurance, his military prowess or his bravery.
At the same time, look at someone like Thomas Jefferson. Or George Washington. Undeniably admirable. And yet they owned slaves.
I think that maybe there are no completely "bad" people, just as there are no perfectly "good" people. God can use everyone, so there's no one so useless that God can't make good out of their bad, and no one so good that God doesn't have to compensate for their weaknesses. We just can't always see that.
I just love knowing that He's sovereign, don't you?
~ "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord,
like the rivers of water;
he turns it wherever He wishes" ~