Overcome Evil with Good

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21

All it takes is one look at the headlines to get the impression that evil is all around us. We get this impression because it’s true. Many who work in the media today capitalize upon this fact. It's easy to point out the negative, it's easy to criticize, and it's easy to convince people who they should hate. It’s easy to stir up fear and anxiety. It’s so easy, someone was bound to do it. So don’t blame the media for stirring you up and don't blame those who disagree with you for making you feel a certain way. We cannot control others and each of us must give an account to God for our own actions. Despite how we may feel, we must come to realize that evil is not overcome by our anger, evil is not overcome by complaining, and evil is not overcome by drawing others into arguments.

How then shall we overcome evil? The first thing we can do is something passive; Don't give evil a host. “Stay home, stay safe” applies here. Evil always seeks a host so it can spread. If you're anxious or angry about something you heard or read, don’t vent publicly, don't triangulate, and don't expect others to see things your way. Instead of blasting your feelings online, consider what your reaction will do to others and take your feelings privately to a trusted friend who can help you sort them out.

The next thing we can do is something active. We must go to the Lord and ask him to help us act with patience, kindness, and forgiveness. Anyone can retaliate, but Jesus tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. (Matthew 5:44) Similarly, the Apostle Paul reminds us to “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32 ESV) Our inspiration is the example of Christ, who rather than retaliate, took the evil of the world and conquered it on the cross. On the cross Jesus offers us his forgiveness. Our motivation is the love of Christ for us, which should inform how we treat others around us, even our enemies. So before we retaliate or react, let us humble ourselves before God, realizing all we have been forgiven. Following Christ’s example, let us fall to our knees and overcome evil with good.

May the Love of Christ be with you always.
Pastor Gregory