Over­come evil with good

The Sunday Guardian - - & Comment Analysis - By Rev. Dr. Richard How­ell

Joanna is de­ter­mined to over­come evil with good. The source of her strength is her per­sonal re­la­tion­ship with Christ Je­sus and her hope in Him. Her prayer is: “Dear heav­enly Fa­ther, I don’t want to be over­come by evil I have suf­fered and let it de­fine my be­hav­iour. I don’t want to be shaped by the evils of this world. Con­tinue to strengthen me with the power of your Holy Spirit to re­spond in love. In Je­sus’ name, Amen.”

What does it look like for a per­son to be over­come by evil? The per­son is gripped by fear; their minds and hearts over­flow with re­cur­ring fear­ful thoughts. The evil shown on the news chan­nels, or the evil we per­son­ally suf­fer weighs us down, and we grad­u­ally lose our peace and joy. Joanna has gone down this road but over­come. She knows she is not alone; that she is in fel­low­ship with God and God’s peo­ple, whom she can call upon for prayer­ful sup­port and ad­vice.

Joanna has re­peat­edly re­fused to con­form to dif­fer­ent life styles she en­coun­tered as a stu­dent and now at her work place. Many try drugs and ex­per­i­ment with sex, but she re­fused to go down the slip­pery slope.

Joanna re­fuses to be hard­ened by the cul­ture around her. She knows we live in an ‘eat or be eaten’ en­vi­ron­ment. Pride fills the air; cyn­i­cism is com­mon; un­der­stand­ing and com­pas­sion are rarely to be found, and slowly cyn­i­cism creeps into the heart. What evil might threaten to over­come you? Have you suf­fered vi­o­lence or been dis­crim­i­nated against? Have you been abused ver­bally, emo­tion­ally or sex­u­ally?

It is pos­si­ble to let the wounds of our life de­fine us so we lose our con­fi­dence, peace, and joy. How­ever, the Je­sus way and His power is avail­able for us “not to be over­come by evil, but over­come evil with good” (Rom. 12:21). Evil did not over­come Je­sus, and it will not over­come you ei­ther.

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