TO CHEW ON: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21
What a rich list we have in today's reading. Let's look at it as a list of evils (implied or stated) and the antidotes to them that Paul suggests.
[Antidote: Anything that will counteract or remove the effects of poison, disease or any evil.]
Antidote: Kindness; affection; brotherly love, i.e. that looking-out-for-each-other kind of love that siblings show each other; giving others preference above yourself.
Antidote: Diligence; cultivating a "fervent spirit" i.e. warmth, showing intensity of emotion or enthusiasm, ardent; serve the Lord with this attitude.
Antidote: Rejoice in (focus on) hope.
Antidote: Patience (perseverance); prayer.
Antidote: Look for needs and fill them; extend hospitality.
Antidote: Bless your persecutor.
Antidote: Empathy - "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep."
Antidote: Treat everyone the same way; refrain from acknowledging class or status and associate with everyone; be humble yourself.
Antidote: Be the peaceful one, not the instigator of quarrels.
Wrongs done to you
Antidote: Refuse to repay in kind; let God be your avenger, treat your enemy with kindness.
Can you relate to any of these evils and their antidotes? I certainly can! Though the words are straightforward and the concepts simple, there's a lifetime of sanctification implied here.
PRAYER: Dear God, please show me how, and help me to work these excellent antidotes to evil into the fabric of my life. May they become my lifestyle. Amen.
MORE: Overcoming evil with good
"Don’t be overcome by evil means. Don’t be overcome by his evil. Don’t let another person’s evil make you evil. Oh, how crucial that is.
"[...] When you let your adversary make you evil he is the victor. If you let a person’s sin govern your emotions so that your sinful anger or your misery or your depression is owing to their evil, then you are being overcome by evil. And Paul says, You don’t have to be overcome that way.
"[...] When someone does evil to you, you should say, “You are not my Lord. I will not be controlled by you. I will not have my attitudes and thoughts and actions dictated by your evil. Christ is my Lord. Christ dictates my attitudes and thoughts and actions..."Read all of "Christ Overcame Evil with Good—Do the Same" By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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