Overcoming Evil with Good
How many times in your life have you heard counsel given that speaks of "pay-back" or
"vengeance"? How often do we hear children reporting problems to their parents,
indicating that " he hit me first, so I hit him back"?
Is this not the human, old nature way to deal with evil, standing in stark contrast to that
which Jesus both modeled and taught? Do we tend to retaliate, even if in ways of anger
and bitterness? Or do we follow the pattern of Christ that we see so clearly
demonstrated in 1 Peter 2:20-24?
For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently?
but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently,
this is acceptable with God.
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us,
leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again;
when he suffered, he threatened not;
but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,
that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness:
by whose stripes ye were healed.
Romans 12:21 is very clear that evil is to be overcome with good. It is that demonstration to the world of the
love, mercy and grace bestowed on us by Christ. How does that flesh out in everyday living, especially when
difficult health difficulties are present, or other unexpected life crises seem to invade without invitation?
Life choices in matters such as these are dependent, first of all, upon spiritual discernment in the
identification of evil vs. good. A reactionary, " knee-jerk" response precludes the opportunity to overcome
evil with good in the manner modeled for us by Christ, If we would instantaneously ask the question, "How
would Jesus handle this insult, mistreatment or injustice"? Realize that our ABC's are critical!!!
A: What Attitude would He have? What would be His thoughts?
Would it be self serving or would it be God- glorifying?
B: What Behavior would He show? How would He act?
Would it be in revenge or would it be to for the spiritual profit of the offender?
C. What Communication would He employ? What / how would He speak?
Would they be words of anger or ones showing mercy and grace?
So, if we follow the counsel of Christ's example from 1 Peter 2:20-24, we will:
1. Scripture review, regarding our position and purpose
2. Pray, committing ourselves to righteousness, regardless of injustices
3. Act in righteous ways, even to those who offend, leaving the results to the Father
Because this response is one of the new nature, requiring a purpose of heart and a practical
application, I have found it so helpful, taking the first letter of those 3 steps and using the acrostic of SPA to remind me of the necessity of a spiritual work-out to assist in conformity to Christlikeness.
(C) 1992, 2015 N. A. Collins
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