Truth for Today

OVERCOMING EVIL WITH GOOD

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

Returning good for evil is one of the most difficult obligations a Christian has. Yet from Old Testament times, that has been God’s command to the godly person: “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for so you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the Lord will reward you” (Prov. 25:21–22).

The expression “heap coals of fire on his head” referred to an ancient Egyptian custom. A person wanting to show public contrition would carry on his head a pan of burning coals to symbolize the burning pain of his shame and guilt. When you love an enemy enough to truly endeavor to meet his needs, you hope to shame him for his hatred toward you.

To avoid being overcome by the evil done to you, you must first not allow it to overwhelm you. Second, you must not allow your own evil responses to overpower you. In either instance, the evil itself must be overcome by what is good.

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