Today was our second installment of Good vs Evil. Nice, cold, snowy morning but I was glad to make it to church. Pastor Donovan led us through the lesson on how we are going to respond to the evil that is done to us. There will be evil acts committed against us as long as we live life. There are two things that we should do in handling evil that occurs against us.
- We must change our perspective.
- We must change our response.
Changing Our Perspective
The first thing we looked at was Romans 8:28. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
We have two ways to look at things:
The first way is a short and narrow perspective on the act that we cannot see the long range plan. The second way is is to have a long and wide perspective.
Most of us naturally respond in a short and narrow perspective since our fist inclination is to fight evil with evil. There is always pain but we must recognize that good can come from it. There will be roadblocks, setbacks, and obstacles but they are just detours in the road. We can not see the end of the road, but we must stay the course. As in last week’s lesson, Joseph stayed the course through many roadblocks and because of evil done to him, he was able to accomplish great things in Egypt. Instead of a short and narrow perspective, we need to have a wide and long perspective. It reminded me of the Beatles’ song “The Long and Winding Road.” Life throws up roadblocks but in keeping a wide and long perspective, we have the ability with God’s help to turn evil into good.
Change Our Response
Romans 12:17-21. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[a] to the wrath of God, for it is written,“Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
We should not let somebody else’s evil produce evil in us. We have got to not let evil have power in our life. It is clear that the old adage of killing somebody with kindness is very scriptural. Verse 20 makes it clear that we should really love our enemies and not seek to do evil against those who have done evil against us.
Life’s lesson are tough ones. For me I’ve had to reflect on my response and must admit they haven’t always been the best. Donovan told of a simple story of having somebody in a car cut you off or whatever and they yell obscenities at you and how that quick impulsive reaction is to respond with our own evil. Ouch, been there done that.
To finish up the lesson, a short film was shown of members of Expedition that had evil done to them and how they had struggled in their response but had overcome the evil with good. Very cool film and I think probably caused all of us to think how we respond to acts of evil that have been committed against us.
Once again in my own personal reflections, I have to show growth by looking at life from a wider and longer perspective and to respond in a much more positive manner. Not easy but I will continue to work and grow in my own walk.