Monday, 25 November 2013
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21
Paul finishes chapter 12 of Romans with this verse. When we allow ourselves to be overcome by evil, we are the ones who lose the battle. This is perfectly obvious when observing the actions of an instigator. As he needles and pushes he will delight in his perverse exploits. As one falls prey to him, the smug satisfaction of victory can be evidenced on his face; he has overcome and feels vindicated by the reduction of you, his foe, to his own depraved level.
However, if you stand against him and continue to put forth blessings and goodness, there will eventually be a vindication of your approach in one of a couple ways. One is that the instigator will simply release a stream of anger and profanity and depart, or he may concede that you have been right in your actions. Either way, good has overcome the evil.
An excellent place to see this in action is on a news talk show where a political issue is debated. Or, listening to various talk-radio hosts will allow the same opportunity. Those hosts who continuously put forth a stream of positive thoughts and encouragements will inevitably win their debate. Eventually, opponents don’t even bother entering the dialogue because they see that the host won’t be shaken.
However, for those hosts who allow themselves to get rattled, those who engage them will continue to needle them until that comes about. In these cases, even if the stronger or morally right argument is held by the host, the debate is still lost.
This is what Paul is speaking of in any life situation. When we allow evil to overcome, then only evil has come. But when we overcome evil with good, then good has prevailed and the enemy is silenced.
Life application: One of the most difficult tasks of all is to know when to throw out a blessing in order to fend off an attack. As a stable and reasonable thinker you will always win the argument if you keep your emotions in check and allow grace, not angry emotion, to rule the situation. Learn this thought from Paul and remember it when you face such pressure – “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” Colossians 4:6
Lord God, help my words to be seasoned with grace and free from anger. Grant me the ability to throw out a blessing instead of reviling when I’m attacked by others. I know that as soon as I respond in anger, the argument is lost. So please, help me to overcome evil with good and to never be overcome by the evil which comes my way. In so doing, I know that You will be glorified. Amen.