By God’s grace and work within us, let’s see how much good we can do and how much evil we can overcome!

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I’ve been thinking again about this verse from Romans 12:

Do not be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21

I remembered writing about it before, so I searched past blogs to see when that was. It was almost exactly two years ago. Back then I followed the verse with these ideas:

Let’s do that. Let’s not concentrate so much on the evil that can make us afraid. Let’s concentrate on the good that we can proactively do. And let’s think of how we can give our children opportunities to do good.

I know you are like I am, wondering just how evil the world can become. We hear about people and maybe are also around people who think so very differently than we do. Let’s do commit ourselves to overcome evil by doing good.

Yesterday I looked again at Romans 12, which has many powerful ideas about doing good, ideas that contrast vastly from what the world tells us to do. I’ve chosen a few of these to emphasize. Romans 12 tells us:

  • To present our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God (verse 1). As we learn in 1 Corinthians 6, we must glorify God in our bodies because we are not our own. We were bought with a price.
  • Not to be conformed to this world (verse 2). Let’s look closely at our lives to see if there are areas where we are conforming to the world without realizing it.
  • Not to think about ourselves more highly than we ought (verse 3) or be haughty or be wise in our own estimation (verse 16).
  • To love without hypocrisy (verse 9), to be devoted to one another in brotherly love, and to give preference to one another in honor (verse 10).
  • To abhor what is evil and cling to what is good (verse 9). What choices do we need to make to abhor evil and cling to good?
  • To rejoice in hope (verse 12)—no matter how depressing is the news we hear.
  • To persevere in tribulation. Let’s stay faithful and never give up.
  • To be devoted to prayer. Let’s trust God’s promise to listen. He cares about the issues we care about much more than we do.
  • To bless those who persecute us and not curse them (verse 14) and never to pay back evil for evil to anyone (verse 17). Never.
  • To rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep (verse 15). This takes noticing, and it will bless those rejoicing and weeping folks if we let them know we are joining them.
  • To respect what is right in the sight of all men (verse 17).
  • If possible, so far as it depends on us, to be at peace with all men (verse 18).
  • Never to take revenge (verse 19). Never.
  • To feed our enemies if they are hungry and give them a drink if they are thirsty (verse 20). Now, there’s a way to do good.

By God’s grace and work within us, let’s see how much good we can do and how much evil we can overcome!

Do not be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21

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