Sunday, February 21, 2016

February 22, 2016

"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."  Romans 12:17-21

The power of goodness is the power to be proactive.

By contrast, evil is reactive. And evil reacts with greater force than what was used against it causing an escalation of evil.

Overcoming evil requires you to determine in advance that no matter what evil is done against you you will not retaliate with evil.

There is no way you can win the battle with evil unless you predetermine to do so. If you are not proactive in your commitment to good, you will react to evil with evil.

Any person can be reactive. It is human nature. You don't have to be a spiritual giant to respond with to an evil act with anger and retaliation. That takes no moral or spiritual conviction.

But it does take the love and power of God to refrain from retaliating? It takes the presence of the Holy Spirit and His power to prevent you from retaliating against one who hurts you.

What is really gained by retaliating? Does it make you feel good? Is it wise? Is it advantageous? Is it helpful to any one?

What retaliation normally means is that "when you bring a knife, I bring a gun". I am going to hurt you more than you hurt me.

Paul says, "That sort of reaction takes no special power of ability. Pick someone out of the crown and he can retaliate. But you may have to stop a number of people to find one who refuses to return evil for evil.

When Jesus told His disciples to pray, "Deliver us from evil". This is what He had in mind. "Oh, Lord, keep me from saying or doing something that will dishonor you and make a bad situation worse."

How do you respond to hurtful or harmful acts committed against you?

Or will you try to overcome their evil with greater "shock and awe"?

Overcoming evil doesn't happen by mistake. Overcoming evil is a commitment that declares, "No matter how evil you decide to be toward me, I will respond with love."

Is that how you lived yesterday? Is that how you plan to live today?