Conquer the evil by the good
“Do not repay evil with evil … do not take revenge …”, but “bless and pray for those who treat you badly” and “do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good” (Romans 12: 17-21 / Luke 6: 28)
It has been a long time since I, as a Bible school student, had to learn these verses by heart. The beauty is that when you plant God’s Word as a seed in your heart, that seed will come up sooner or later in your life and bear fruit. I personally believe that it is a process of bearing fruit 30, 40, 60 and finally 100 times, because you get more and more revelation about what God means to say about something from His Word.
These verses that I had memorized long ago recently came to my mind again. When God speaks to me through His Word, I have the choice to do something with it or to leave it. However, because I not only want to be a hearer, but also a perpetrator of His Word, I want to do something with it! I know that through this I will grow and experience God’s blessing. In addition, my obedience will also bring peace and justice to the situation I am dealing with.
Sense of justice
All my life I carry a strong sense of justice. I can’t stand dishonesty, lying and everything that has to do with it. I do not like crooked, but right – in word and deed. So if something happens that is unjust or crooked, I naturally have a tendency to say something about it and to do something about it.
For example, a very difficult and unfair situation occurred with one of our boys during these last months. For those who have a child, understand that what concerns your child also affects you as a parent. You’d rather have you beaten than see your child suffer. All sorts of thoughts of anger, powerlessness and the urge to retaliate flew through my mind. Although these thoughts and associated feelings would not resolve the situation and I had prayed repeatedly for it, these thoughts kept coming back. Until God’s Word came to me again, very clearly.
Called to bless
From the Bible the call sounds: “do not repay evil with evil … blessing precisely so that you yourself will also receive blessing, because you are called to do so”. * As a follower of Christ, I am called to bless, not to repay evil!
But how does it work if I have to bless the person who hurts or hurts me? That person doesn’t deserve that ?! Is right! It is then an act of grace … and you cannot earn grace! The gospel is the message of grace and peace; if we ourselves are saved by the grace of God and live by that grace, we too are called to pass on that grace and peace to others who “don’t deserve it.”
Jesus himself said, “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly.” Blessing means that you speak well about those who have harmed you. So not only say to God that you forgive that person, but also do not speak (anymore) angry about that person and keep repeating his mistakes towards others.
Blessing is also “feeding your enemy when he is hungry, and giving him to drink when he is thirsty.” * So deliberately do something good for the person who has treated you badly. This leaves room for God to deal with that person. After all, God is your defender and your judge. He will return, not you! *
Praying for our “enemies” means asking God to bless them spiritually. In other words, we pray that God will reveal to them the truth about their attitude and behavior so that they can repent of it and be freed from their sin.
Pass on the grace of God
Because of the situation with my son, I have come to see even more how great God’s grace is. He gave everything to us while we didn’t deserve it. That is grace. He reaches out to those who turn away from Him, who want nothing to do with him. He keeps reaching out in love. That love is the light that shines in our hearts and leads us to repentance and repentance.
We may learn to pass on this undeserved favor, the grace of God, more and more to those who actually do not deserve our favor. By doing that, we not only bless them, but we are also a blessing to the Father and thus to ourselves.
I thank God for His Word and that I can continue to learn and grow!
* Romans 12: 14-21 / Proverbs 25: 21,22 / Proverbs 20: 22/1 Thessalonians 5: 15/1 Peter 3: 9 / Luke 6:28