How do you overcome evil with good. How can you show the love of Christ in a bad relationship? Have you ever been offended by somebody so much that you felt that the best option was to revenge? So therefore if somebody harms you, should you harm them back? If somebody insults you, should you retaliate by finding a way to insult them too?
Matthew 5:38-39 NKJV
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also
Matthew 5:43-44 NKJV
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
According to Jesus, if we are to overcome evil with good, there are 4 things we must do.
These 4 things that Jesus mentions in Matthew 5:43,44 are the following:
- We Must LOVE
- We Must BLESS
- We Must DO GOOD
- We Must PRAY
Jesus Himself extended this same love and grace to us through His death on the cross. Despite the fact that we were sinners, God demonstrated His love for us through the death of Christ for our sins (Romans 5:8).
Also as Christ was crucified on the cross He prayed for those who hated Him saying “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:24).
Therefore God is not only good to those who love Him but He is also good to those who despise Him. Matthew 5:45 says “… for He (God) makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust”.
Therefore the goodness and love of God is extended to everyone.
Jesus basically taught us that no matter how badly other people may treat us, we MUST ALWAYS respond to them in LOVE and we must NEVER respond to anyone with bitterness, unforgiveness, revenge and hatred.
Jesus taught that if your neighbor hates you and if you want to defeat your neighbor – then you must LOVE him. If you hate your neighbor just because he hates you too – it would cause more hatred to fester – and NOTHING good comes out of hatred.
Hatred is an emotional characteristic of the devil, but LOVE is the character of God. So when you LOVE, you are imitating the very nature of God, but when you hate you are imitating the devil.
Matthew 5:46-48 NKJV
For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
When you become a child of God you are called to a Godly standard of living. You are called to imitate God’s nature through Christ and His teachings. You are called to live according to the principles of the Kingdom of God and NOT according to the standards of the world.
Jesus taught that there is a very CLEAR DIFFERENCE between the children of God and the world. Therefore as children of God in our relationships, we should aim in Christ to not react or respond by the values and principles of the world.
Romans 12:17-21 NKJV
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
So the next time somebody offends you, don’t revenge; don’t hate, but respond the way Jesus has taught you – by showing LOVE.