Romans 12 v 21: Do not be overcome by evil, overcome evil with Good
This is the memory verse that I chose for myself this week and I was thinking about how I could implement this. I know that some of us are fighting big battles, battles that reek of evil - and the devil using everything at his disposal to hurt you. Normally, its because he is trying to trip you up, force you a few steps back because he knows you are in God's hands, or God is getting you ready for promotion 'spiritually'. In these situations much spiritual warfare is required and I think that is a post for another day.
What I've been thinking about is those daily battles, the ones with personality clashes or minor offenses. You know the ones I mean: some rude road hog, or your teen been cheeky, or some random stranger making a judgement about you, even your nearest and dearest taking their frustrations out on you. That's what I'm talking about with regards to this verse.
Yesterday, I was preparing for a bunch of teenagers to take over my house for a pizza evening. I was preparing myself for mess and noise. What I did not prepare myself for was my eldest being rude, and treating me disrespectfully. Granted, she was over tired from her hectic social life, but her comments were unwarranted and unnecessary.
So, I decided instead of harping on it or letting it get me down (which it did anyway), I chose to repay evil with good. I got her car washed, which it badly needed. I felt better about things and although I did it for her, I did it as unto the Lord in order to repay evil with good. The reason I did it as unto the Lord was so that my motive would be right and I wouldn't be looking for something done for me in return.
The same principal applies in the traffic. Someone pushes in front of you or takes your parking. I want to start training myself to repay evil with good. In these scenarios I will try to wave it off, smile and find another parking or back off. Not my usual response - but I believe if I don't respond the way people expect me to respond, you kind of take the wind out of their sales. They're baffled! They expect you to fight back. That is just repaying evil with evil and then evil wins. I don't want evil to win anymore than it already has.
Prov 10 v 12: Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love covers ALL offenses.
I believe God wants us to have a loving response to evil. By evil in this context, I mean offensiveness, mean-spirited, rudeness. You know, the day to day nitty gritty things people say and do that can cause one to stumble. If I have a loving response to someone who is being obnoxious, they probably will go silent from not knowing how to respond. Its time to practice what I call reverse psychology, do the opposite of what is expected - especially if the worst is expected.
My encouragement for you today is when you see an offense coming your way, try to think of a loving way to respond and you will be repaying evil with good. This is just another way of showing others we are changed by God's love and we are new creations in Christ.