“Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
So I used this reference yesterday, but I wanted to expound on it some today. Overcoming evil with good! That’s easy, right? Not so much. Usually, the first response when evil is done is the desire to “return the favor”. For instance, if you’ve been wronged in one way or another or even if someone is just rubbing you the wrong way, the natural response is giving them a “piece of your mind,” wait for the next opportunity to put them in their place or plan a way to “get even with them”. In today’s world, most people have a sense of pride about them that says nobody is going to get the best of them. However, this scripture says to overcome evil, doing good has to be involved. Or you could say it like this: Overcome evil thoughts and feelings with good actions. What does that even look like?
There is a perfect example of this in the life of Jesus. In Matthew 14:12 John the Baptist’s (who was a friend and relative of Jesus) disciples brought Jesus the news that John had been beheaded. Two verses later it says, “And when Jesus went out, He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” Talk about overcoming evil with good! Then Jesus went on to feed all 5000 that were there and their families, too. He could have said, “Guys, this really isn’t a good time for me. My family is in crisis and I need to go be with them”. Or “I really need to be alone right now to process all this new information”. But He almost immediately turned His focus to those who came to Him needing His compassion and love.
I do want to make note here that overcoming evil with good doesn’t necessarily mean doing good to the one who caused the evil. Jesus just went ahead and did good right where He was for the people that came to Him. He didn’t go and seek out the offender to do good to him. He knew that the real enemy was Satan, so He was able to overcome all of the ill will, resentful and evil feelings by giving God’s goodness and love right where He was.
Today I want to encourage you to make a plan for the next time evil tries to overcome you. Remember the best way to give God the victory is to overcome that evil with good. Pray for the strength and ability to overcome your feelings and thoughts for evil. The begin walking out God’s goodness and love right where you are by doing good and loving those who are with you right then!
Today’s scripture reading: Romans 12