Evil is real.
The daily dose of disturbing images, stories, posts, and political rhetoric has gotten to me lately. I’m sure you can relate. At times, I find myself shaking my fist and verbalizing not-so-Christ-like sentiments to inanimate objects like my phone or the TV. At other times, I vow to stay away from screens altogether. But it doesn’t last. I still want to be informed.
I decided to invite the Lord into my dilemma (Go figure!). And guess what? He faithfully answered my prayer through His word.
“Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” Romans 12:21
The ordinary God-fearing folks like you and me—not politicians—are the ones with the power to conquer evil with good.
My friends, it’s up to us to overcome evil with good.
And yet, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Well-wishes and sweet sentiments aren’t enough. The best way—perhaps the only way—to truly defeat evil is through our actions. Love conquers evil—and love is a verb.
3 Ways to Conquer Evil with Good
The following steps build upon each other. Just as a house requires a solid foundation—you cannot effectively do one of the steps without implementing the first step.
1) Love your neighbor as yourself.
Our culture is conditioned to put ourselves and our interests above all. The violent extremism we are experiencing is just an extension of the rampant self-interest theme—which is in opposition to God.
Anything in opposition to God is evil.
“Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.” 3 John 1:11
If we are going to show the world we are from God, we must reflect Him. In order to reflect Him, we must spend time with Him. If we spend time with Him, we cannot help but love Him. And If we love Him, we will naturally love others.
“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[e] This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22: 37-40 NLT
Your neighbor is not just the person who lives next door. Jesus teaches that everyone is our neighbor, which brings me to the next point.
2) Love with your actions.
“If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:15-17
Showing love to others requires intentionality.
It is a conscious daily effort to look for ways to serve others. It means helping others in need—even if they aren’t nice or cannot give us anything in return. It means laying down your own interests for the sake of someone else. It is also practical. We may not be able to help the whole world, but we can help others in our sphere of influence.
- Babysit for a weary young mother.
- Serve meals at a homeless shelter.
- Ask your church how you can help.
- Mow an elderly neighbor’s lawn.
- Listen to and pray with a friend in need.
The list is endless. Ask God to reveal to you someone to serve today. I promise, if you listen carefully, He will bring someone to mind or an opportunity will arise.
This kind of love doesn’t come naturally. It is a direct result of loving the Lord first.
3) Love With Your Words
“Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” ~Yehuda Berg
We all recognize that words are powerful. But often we forget our own tongue holds the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21).
Seriously, let that resonate for a moment.
Your words hold the power of life and death.
And not only that, but the rest of the verse reads, “those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Or the ESV translation reads, “and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
Time for a self-check. Is your fruit appealing? (pun intended!) Or is your fruit off-putting or even toxic? I’m not only referring to the words we speak— but how about our posts on social media? Good grief! Let’s proofread and pray before we post or send.
We have an excellent proofreader called the Holy Spirit.
“For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.” 1 Peter 2:15
Like me, if you have found yourself weary with the pervasiveness of evil nowadays, let’s stop grumbling and do something about it. Evil has a name: Satan. Love is the name above all names: Jesus Christ. Let’s vow to live like Christ commanded and conquer evil with good!
♥Please share your comments and prayer requests below.
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