“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
Peacemaking does not always go as easily as we would like it to. Although some people will readily make peace, others will be stubborn and defensive and resist our efforts to be reconciled. Sometimes they will become even more antagonistic and find new ways to frustrate or mistreat us.
Our natural reaction is to strike back at such people, or at least to stop doing anything good to them. However, Jesus calls us to take a remarkably different course of action:
“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. … Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:27-28, 35-36).
Adapted from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 247.
Food for Thought
Think about someone who could be described by one of the following:
- Your enemy
- Someone who hates you
- Someone who curses you
- Someone who mistreats you
Maybe someone pops right to mind. Or maybe it’s a little hard to identify one (though “someone who mistreats you” is quite a one-size-fits-all descriptor of a person who make your life difficult). But in each case, Jesus has called us to this “remarkably different course of action.”
He calls us to love, do good, bless, and pray. But in our own strength, this command is impossible to obey. Pray that God would give you a special measure of grace today to overcome evil with good, even when it seems the most difficult thing in the world to actually do.
Is there anyone is your life described as the above?
Fortunately I don’t know of anyone right off-hand. There is people who make my life difficult, but I love them and they are usually the ones living closest to me. 😉
Something to ponder….. The Home Engineer