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Overcome Evil with Good

May 15, 2018

“Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance,” (Rom. 2:4, NASB).

We get angry so quickly. Our perverted sense of justice tells us to, “Let them have it, because they deserve it.” We think we are justified to put people in their place and come down hard on them. Although there is a time for correction and discipline, we learn that it is the kindness of God that leads people to repentance. God is merciful towards us when we do not deserve it. We read, “He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous,” (Matt. 5:45b). We also read, “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy,” (Titus 3:4-5a). God is patient with us in our sin. He pours out his love and mercy on us when all we deserve is wrath.

We are then called to be kind and patient with others. Paul tells the church in Colossae, “Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience,” (Col. 3:12b). Notice how the command to us is based on the character of God. We are to be conformed into His image (Col. 3:10). We are to be holy as He is holy (1 Pet. 1:16). It is in this light that we are told, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse,” (Rom. 12:14), and, “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone,” (Rom. 12:17a), and, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good,” (Rom. 12:21).

It is a high calling to reflect the kindness of God in a world in which we are constantly wronged. In fact it is impossible. But let us rejoice that what is impossible for man is possible for God (Lk. 18:27). Let us pray that God would put to death the anger, wrath, and malice in our hearts and by His Spirit cause us to be able to be patient, merciful, and kind. Although we so often want to take vengeance, we are told, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God,” (Rom. 12:19a). God is in control. He sees all the offenses that occur on a daily basis. Yet, He is patient and redeems people that do not deserve it. By the Spirit of God we are called to show the same mercy towards others that we have been shown, and to trust God to take care of the offenses in His way. It is as we trust our God who shows mercy, who will take vengeance in His timing, that we are freed to love our enemies. Although we know God is patient, and may wonder when He will repay evil (Rev. 6:10) we know that it is the kindness of God that leads people to repentance.

Let our heart be to see our enemies redeemed by the grace of God. Let us trust Him to work according to His justice, mercy, and wisdom. May God grant us the strength to be able to do good to those who sin against us, and overcome evil with good.

From → Miscellaneous

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