3 Ways to Overcome Evil with Good
What does it mean, to overcome evil with good? Romans 12:21 says: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good
It is evident that we live in an increasingly wicked and evil world. In these last days, our current generation has become more immoral and more self-centered than any other generation before it.
2 Timothy 3:2-6 says: For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
Jesus said “because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12)
So in a world where man’s heart is continuously growing evil, how should we respond to the evil around us? How should we retaliate when people offend us or seek to hurt us? How should you respond to insults and persecution in a world that hates good but loves evil?
Romans 12:21 tells us the only way to overcome evil, is by doing good. Below are 3 ways we can overcome evil with good
1. Do not repay evil with evil
God discourages us from any acts of revenge. We must resist the temptation to return an eye for an eye. Instead we must learn to turn the other cheek.
Romans 12:17-19 says: Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.
In Matthew 5:38-39 Jesus says: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
2. Respond with acts of love
We overcome evil with good by responding with love. We should always ensure that whatever we say and do is motivated by the love of God and the love for others.
In Matthew 5:43-44 Jesus says: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”
According to Matthew 5:43-44, if we are to overcome evil with good we must love and pray for people who offend, annoy or persecute us.
Romans 12:19-20 says: Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.
3. Hate Evil & Cling to Good
One way of overcoming evil with good is to have a passionate hatred towards all kinds of wickedness. Romans 12:9 says we should “abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.”
When we hate evil and wickedness, it’s easier to resist the temptation for repay evil for evil.
When we cling to what is good, it’s easier to respond with goodness and righteousness to every situation – including circumstances where there is offense or persecution towards us.
Therefore in order to overcome evil with good we must develop a love for righteousness. We must hate the things that God hates, and love the things that God loves.
How Did Jesus Overcome Evil with Good?
We live in a fallen and desperately wicked world. We are all sinners who have who have committed acts of unrighteousness before a holy and righteous God (Romans 3:23). Because we are sinners who have broken God’s commandments we rightly deserve to be punished by God.
However Romans 5:8 says “but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Jesus Christ is a perfect example of someone who was sinless and blameless. Yet despite the being insulted and even persecuted, He did not sin even once nor repay evil with evil.
Jesus came to pay the debt for sin that we could not pay. He became our Substitute by dying on the cross and paying the price for our sins.
Even though we are sinners who rightly deserve punishment, God not only demonstrated His love, but He demonstrated His grace by offering salvation as a free gift. Therefore we are not saved by our own works, but we are saved by grace through faith.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Through God’s demonstration of love and grace, God offers salvation from the consequences of sin to anyone who would believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
John 3:16-17 says: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”
There are times in life when it may appear as if evil is winning the battle. We might feel like doing good and living righteously is not making a difference in this fallen world.
Galatians 6:9 says: And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
It through a knowledge of the word of God that we can discern the difference between good and evil. Furthermore we can only demonstrate goodness through having a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ and obeying His word.
Therefore we must never give up in the fight between good and evil. We must never be weary of doing good. God always wins in the end.