Overcome evil with good.
-- Romans 12:21b
Evil stands nearby. Its presence in our midst is real, palpable and tangible. It has undeniable power and we are vulnerable to the effects of that power. When we experience evil in our own lives or suffer it at the hands of others, we wonder how we can successfully navigate through the reality of its presence in our lives. The answer is found in the four short words, 'overcome evil with good.' The more we live a life of goodness by affirming our own goodness and the goodness of others, the less power evil will have in our lives. Goodness always prevails over evil. Evil cannot overcome us. But we can overcome it through the goodness that is ours in Christ.
Just think what a difference we could make in our lives and in the world if we saw our vocation as one of removing evil by honoring others and helping them to recognize the seed of goodness that is in them, just as Jesus did. People would come to a new understanding of God and themselves and they would be strengthened to face the evil in their own lives. Practicing 'goodness' is not just one more 'should' to add to an already busy and complicated life. To practice goodness is simply to show hesed - the Hebrew word for loving kindness. It is to be kind - to yourself and to others - to allow the kindness and love of God to flow through you and out of you and to drop like gentle dew on the thirsty ground beneath. In practicing kindness you will see yourself and others as precious and beloved.
"Overcome evil with good." Only four words to memorize. But memorize them. Let them be one with your heart and one with your breath. Your own life and the life of the world will be altered eternally by even one act of goodness that renders evil powerless.
God of goodness and loving kindness make me fearless in the face of evil. Let my own deeds of kindness be an antidote for the evil that threatens to overcome and overwhelm the graciousness and wonder of life.
These meditations first appeared at explorefaith.org
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