Returning Good for Evil
1/1/2018

 
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matt. 5:43-45).

 

The apostle Paul also deals with this same problem: "If it is possible, as much as depends on you live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, "says the Lord. Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:18-21).  Notice that Paul uses the word "overcome."  The word means to prevail over, to master, and to be vanquished. If we succumb to the power of evil by returning evil for evil we will be succumbing to the power that seeks to defeat us emotionally, mentally, physically, socially and spiritually.

 

Christian faith does not offer us an illusory hope of life on earth without evil. Instead, Christianity calls us to fight evil with good ó in the world as it is. In (Matthew 5:43-48)Jesus urges his disciples: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be children" of God, who "makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous."  The lesson of scripture is that God loves our enemies, so Christians are called upon not merely to love those who love them but to love as God lovesóby returning good for evil.

 

When Paul said,  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." (Romans 12:20), what did he mean?  He is quoting (Proverbs 25:21-22). This metaphor means that loving our enemies is how they may come to have remorse for the injustice they have done to us. But we can't respond this way on our own.  It's not human nature to respond the Christian way.  Therefore, we must turn to Jesus Christ who returned ultimate good for the ultimate evil done to Him.  He offers us the help we need (Philippians 4:13).

 

 

BRIGHTEN THE CORNER WHERE YOU ARE

 

Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,

Do not wait to shed your light afar,

To the many duties ever near you now be true,

Brighten the corner where you are.

 

Refrain:

 

Brighten the corner where you are! (x2)

Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;

Brighten the corner where you are!

 

Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,

Let not narrow self your way debar;

Though into one heart alone may fall your song of cheer,

Brighten the corner where you are.

 

Refrain:

 

Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,

Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;

Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,

Brighten the corner where you are.

 

 






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