by Rick Warren — January 6, 2021
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Romans 12:21 (NIV)
When there’s a bully trying to make trouble in your life, you need to respond positively. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21 NIV).
That’s a step of faith, isn’t it? Because everything in you probably wants to overcome evil with evil and fight darkness with more darkness. That’s what the world tells you to do: Fight dirty. That’s why it takes faith to go against what your flesh and culture are telling you to do and instead trust in God and respond to darkness with his light.
You fight darkness with light. You fight hatred with love. You fight unkindness with kindness. You don’t let evil overcome you. You overcome evil with good.
That’s tough to do. But it gets even tougher: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44 NIV).
Is that easy? No. Is it unusual? Yes. Is it a choice? Absolutely. It’s your choice to be better than the bully. Choosing light over darkness means walking the way of Jesus. And Jesus wouldn’t just walk away from a fight and forget. He would lay down his life if that’s what he needed to do to show how much he loves someone—and that’s exactly what he did.
God doesn’t want you to retaliate. He also wants you to do good. He wants you to show love to even the hardest hearts by praying for them and asking God to give them hearts like his.
Jesus gave us the greatest example of responding in love and praying for enemies. When you follow his example, you’re going to stand out in a world where everyone thinks of themselves first.
Taking the step of faith to overcome evil with good will not always be easy, but it will make you a powerful witness for Jesus.