“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)
Ah, I love today’s passage from Romans, with all its pointed little nuggets of instruction for living well. It was hard to pick just one, when they’re all so good. Seems to me you could sit and meditate on each of these verses all day long all by itself!
But I like the way this one exhorts us to action in response to evil, instead of the easier and more tempting option of pulling into our safe shells. In battle terms, it’s not telling you to simply stay on the defensive, huddle in your fortress and keep evil at bay with a few well-placed arrows. It’s telling you to sally forth on the offensive, right into the battlefield, and win back the ground that evil is taking.
Of course, using the correct weapon (“good”) is key here. There are a lot of well-meaning people who somehow get the idea that they are somehow justified in combating evil WITH evil. It starts, for example, when we’re little, thinking that slapping the little sister who took our toy is going to somehow “solve” the problem. When we’re adults, we justify: “I can make a snide/gossipy/sarcastic/hurtful remark about THAT person behind their back, because they did THIS to me!” It actually multiplies the problem instead of eradicating it, but that’s where Satan too often has us blinded and fooled.
Let’s take the challenge of this verse and not let him get by with that anymore!
About the photo: Look what I found while picking strawberries!