7/4 Romans 12:21

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

This simple expression is an easy one to memorize but a challenge to live. Human nature responds to evil with evil, but that only escalates the conflict. When we join in the evil, we are being overcome by it. When arguments become personal and insults are hurled, only the Spirit-empowered person can return a loving and gracious response. When that happens, the person attacking us may be overcome with good. It might not happen right away, but when the person is faced with a persistent loving attitude, good will overcome evil.

The family is the place where personal attacks most often occur and where hurts grow and fester. We tend to hurt the ones we love because our expectations of them are so high. This is true within the church family as well as our natural family. Recognize what is happening when tensions build, and respond with loving- kindness. Go the extra mile to be gracious and forgiving. Overcome evil with good.

Some expressions of evil are much more difficult. Physical attacks on one's family and loved ones because of our faith are on the increase in our world. Our life is but a vapor (James 4:14). Even these things cannot separate us from God's love (Romans 8:39). One believer told me when he witnessed to a man, the man knocked him out and put his head in front of a truck tire. Thankfully, the driver refused to move the truck. When the Christian came to, he continued to witness to the man. That man was so dumbfounded at the love and patience of the Christian that he listened to the message. Even in such extreme situations, evil can be overcome by good.

Consider: Memorize this verse. Put it into practice and see what God can do.