Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
The whole passage from verse nine on reads like a collection of pithy aphorisms, like we find in Proverbs. It really makes me think of the messages that some people send out almost every day to encourage everyone on their “friends” list. That said, they are none the less true for that, and this verse pretty much summarizes the whole section. To be honest, each of the instructions counters what could be said to be our natural impulse, that is, our flesh, encouraged by the devil. We make excuses for ourselves, but we all slip up at times, failing to obey these instructions. Conversely, we easily recognize when someone else fails in these areas! We are quick to “grade” someone else’s sin as worse than our own, but that is falling into the trap of the devil. It is no way to “overcome evil with good,” as this verse says. We need to walk in humility before God at all times, allowing Him to show us where we need to repent and extending to others the grace that He shows to us.
I am in the middle of a direct experience in this area. Yesterday I was thoughtless, in a way that is sadly common with me, and I hurt a brother in the Lord completely needlessly. I have talked with him and expressed my apology, but this is not the first time I have done this exact thing in relation to him, and I feel horrible. He indeed has issues that God is working on, but I obviously do too, and I tend to act like I think I’ve got it all together. I need to ask and allow God to show me what to do from this point so that the damage may be minimized. I tell others that Romans 8:28 means that God will use even our mistakes and sins for good if we release them to Him, so I’ve got to believe it myself. There are many things going on, on many different levels in many different areas. I can’t possibly keep it all straight, but God can and does. I’ve got to keep praying that His name would be acknowledged as holy and His kingdom come as His will is done, on the macro level and the micro level, defeating all the tricks of the enemy and exalting Jesus as Lord.
Father, thank You for the ministry I could do yesterday. I allowed that to blind me to the trap the devil had set, but that doesn’t negate the ministry itself. As You had me say at one point, we are all wounded in one way or another, and in need of Your healing touch. Help me be an instrument of that healing and not of wounding, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!