Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Four Rs for Dealing with Evil

“The wicked spies upon the righteous And seeks to kill him.”(Psalms 37:32)

“But my foes are vigorous, they are mighty, and many are those who hate me wrongfully. Those who render me evil for good accuse me because I follow after good.”(Psalms 38:19–20)

Jesus epitomized righteousness. Though He loved everyone and even said that He did not come to condemn the world, but to save it; He was still hated. That is because evil hates good. The wicked seeks to kill the righteous. Jesus was hated wrongfully simply because He was good. There is evil in this world. That evil will seek to destroy all that is good.

So how should I respond when confronted with evil? How did Jesus respond? “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”(Matthew 5:10–12)

He told me not to resist. ““But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.”(Matthew 5:39)

He says to love them. ““But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
(Matthew 5:44–45)

At this time when we focus on the crucifixion and the resurrection, it's good to remember that we don't use power to overcome evil; we follow Jesus who used the ultimate in sacrificial love to overcome evil.

My favorite quote from the recent Hobbit movie was when Gandalf explains why he invited Bilbo on a dangerous adventure. "“Saruman believes that it is only great power that can hold evil in check. That is not what I have found. I have found that it is the small things, every day deeds from ordinary folk, that keeps the darkness at bay." “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”(Romans 12:21)

Evil will not be defeated through our political systems, our criminal justice systems, our educational system or any other system. Evil has already been defeated and we enter into that victory by following Him who won it by doing good.

So here are four Rs of dealing with evil:
1. Rejoice
2. Resist not
3. Respond in love
4. Repay with good

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