“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone... Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
― Romans 12:17-18, 21 (NIV)
ANYONE who’s been a Christian for any length of time, who’s frequented churches, has seen the duplicitous angles of soul manipulation that go on from some Christians who act out of being enviously threatened unconsciously. If we won’t harness our fears, they become us. It’s no surprise, therefore, that some influential Christians rise in the ranks, at least socially, and they use their opportunities of encouragement to ‘gently’ (subtly) rip people down. Again, if they won’t harness their fears, by admitting their need of God, they cannot be helped.
You might be ‘the other person’ in this pantomime – the one who comes to church to serve as faithfully as you can. But then you get undone by what they say is encouragement – you know you need to ‘toughen up’.
Does ‘toughen up’ even fit in a loving context? Can we add what is crass to the qualities of beauty? Not at all. The ‘toughen up’ set are unable or unwilling to love. All we can do, now, is pray for them. We trust God that he is reasoning with them. But we also have a role to diligently return good for evil.
Life’s about goodness,
The giving of love,
We do this because
We know we should,
So what’s the quest of life
Beyond everything bad ever done?
It’s to overcome evil with good.
Overcoming evil with good can became a life mantra for both our spiritual wellbeing and longevity. It protects us and it propels us. Those who have no business in the realm of love will be loved anyway. They cannot stop us from loving them if we make it our choice. There is never so much power than in the one determining to love, and to love those that might even quietly hate us.
Applying Romans 12
This passage of Scripture is very, very practical. I recommend meditating over it – that is, carry it with you and utter its words a hundred times a day. Make it come to be part of who you are. Then there is incorporated into our psyches, great power for turning evil into good.
When we apply Romans 12 it may appear that people don’t understand what we are doing; but we are God’s secret agent, operating in the espionage of life. We should hope that they are confused to a point of asking why we love those hate us.
There’s never so much power than in the one determining to love, for God gives the power to accept, to cherish, and to pray for those who might even quietly hate us.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.