Have you ever been wronged by someone, had your character torn apart, been falsely accused of being someone you are not, been lied to, deeply hurt or betrayed? I’m guessing if you’ve lived more than a few years in this sinful would, the answer is a resounding, “yes”. The natural reaction to these types of “injuries” is to lash out, to respond with anger, to defend yourself for the wrong way you’ve been treated. But like so many things found in the Bible, the way that God lays out for his children to respond is completely opposite of everything that feels natural.
There is a passage I’ve been clinging to lately:
On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. – Romans 12:20-21
Now, if you’ve been hurt and are anything like me (I might just have a feisty side), this is the last thing you want to hear. But that is why I love this verse! I find that many times the things I don’t want to hear are just the things I need to hear. This command is such a fantastic, offensive approach to dealing with these types of situations. You see, so often we want to wait until a person sees our side of the story; understands how much they’ve hurt us, and apologizes for their wrong doing. But the truth is that sitting around waiting for those types of apologies can leave you mad, ugly and festering for days, months and even years.
This is why God approach is so crazy and yet awesome at the same time. It doesn’t say overcome evil by doing nothing and waiting for the person to change. He gives us something tangible to DO. We are to overcome evil with GOOD. Its funny how angry you might be about something but intentionally choosing to do GOOD in response is such a game changer.
It does something to your heart.
I think it softens it.
It reminds you that this “hurter” is still a real person, with feelings and a soul and is still a child of God who has been offered the same undeserved grace we’ve each been given.
And do you know what else it does? It strips Satan of his power. He loses his ability to take a bad situation and turn it into and an even worse one. He loses his ability to pull you down in anger, bitterness, and even hate. The Bible says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7
Overcoming evil with good takes the picture of what Jesus Christ has done for each one of us and displays it in a tangible way in the lives of people around us. It’s powerful, it’s freeing, and once again I find I’m so glad God is God and I’m not.
His ways, though not our own, always prove to be the right.
1. Is there someone in your life who you've felt justified in holding on to anger, hurt and unforgiveness?
2. Think of very intentional ways that you choose to do good to this person. Don't let it be dependent on what that person has/has not done for you.
3. There is never too bad, too far gone, too broken, too hurt for God. His grace, love and healing have no limits. If you have a relationship in your life that needs MUCH healing, view it as an even bigger opportunity to for God to show himself and his power in your life.