8

This is a quote-identification, except I don't actually know the quote. So bear with me, please. It's something like

There is no sin so great that God could not turn it to good.

or

The greatest trick God played on the devil was turning everything he did to good.

or something like that. (Though the second is obviously colored by The Usual Suspects.)


I suspect it's an aphorism from someone like Balthasar Gracian (not him, though) or Meister Eckhart, or it's a quote from Augustine or Francis (any--pick your favorite), or some famous teacher or commentator summarizing/paraphrasing one of the greats.

It could be related to or derived from either of Gn 50:20 or Romans 8:28, or not. It isn't either of those, though.

I tagged it Catholicism because I'm an American Catholic, and went to a Catholic college, and virtually all of my religious education has been from those sources. The ancient Greeks (not likely, though, for this one!), Church Fathers, monastics, Aquinas, &c. are likely suspects. C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, Thomas Merton....

I probably heard it at least fifteen years ago, so no need to consider 21st-century sources.

Does this ring a bell? Is there a notable quote by a notable author/speaker/teacher in Christianity that fits this mold?

  • Did you mean to say "no sin so great" or "no evil so great" that God can't turn it into good? – KorvinStarmast Jun 30 '17 at 23:17
  • Could be either? (I mean, I know there's a theological distinction to be drawn between the two, I'm just saying I don't have a strong recollection of whether the quote was talking about one vs. the other.) – nitsua60 Jun 30 '17 at 23:18
  • There is in deed a difference because sin is a sub set of evil, and evil is the larger category or "thing" in itself. I also suggest a ref to the genesis 50:20 passage since I have an idea that it informs the aphorism. Your call. Then again, what kind of evil ? for Aquinas, evil is "malus" which isn't as loaded a term as our current usage of that word. It was more "absence of good than anything deeper than that." – KorvinStarmast Jun 30 '17 at 23:38
  • Ahh, yes, thanks for reminding me about Gn (and, by extionsion, Rom). I don't really remember much more about the $bad_thing the quote references to narrow it down further, sorry. – nitsua60 Jun 30 '17 at 23:44
  • For whatever reason, I am reminded of CS Lewis's "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist", but that's not what you asked about. – bradimus Jun 30 '17 at 23:56
4

Perhaps you are referring to this quote:

In God’s hands intended evil becomes eventual good.

It was written by Max Lucado in his book God Will Use This for Good: Surviving the Mess of Life. I'd say that he's a relatively famous Christian author, so perhaps this is the quote you're looking for.

Here's where I found this information:

https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/24515175-god-will-use-this-for-good-surviving-the-mess-of-life

http://www.faithgateway.com/what-was-meant-for-evil-god-uses-for-good/#.WYXZCIjyvIU

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