Good for evil!

Posted on February 24, 2017 · Posted in Sanctification

elephants

The Bible’s message from Genesis to Revelation is clear. Our ways are not God’s ways. Yet, phrases like: common sense, conventional wisdom, it seems to me, fight fire with fire, I’m tired of this, I’ve had enough, etc. continue to dominate the actions of many Christians, maybe even you.

When you face conflict the natural response is usually one of two actions: 1. avoid the conflict, or 2. fight fire with fire. So folks either avoid conflict like the plague or jump in take things head on. But neither of these approaches are God’s way! He has a different strategy, a different command because his ways are not our ways.

When confronted with evil in our personal lives God tells us to overcome it with good:

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

God’s goodness may take many forms. For example if the evil is in the form of physical abuse or personal safety is clearly at risk, God’s good is to pursue the appropriate civil authorities to combat the wrongs being done. But for most situations that are typical of everyday life Romans 12:21 offers a radical departure from conventional wisdom in defeating evil. Evil is conquered, overcome by good.

When a family member or a friend is unkind, good means to return kindness.

When someone is sharp or harsh, a gentle soft answer is appropriate.

When angry words are said, pleasant words and a listening ear are the wise response.

When someone is distant or aloof, find an act of unselfish act of kindness for a response.

When a criticism is made, instead of being defensive, offer gratitude for the insight.

When someone ignores you, pursue God in prayer for them.

When others fail to serve you, be sure to serve them in return.

When someone is struggling, offer compassion instead of being offended.

When your spouse is unkind or insensitive, find an unexpected way to respond. Don’t engage in combat, offer flowers or a hug.

The possibilities of good responses to evil are endless. Returning good for evil promotes God’s honor instead of your own.

Fight evil with good!

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.