“On the contrary, ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. For in so doing, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21-22 Berean
“For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing.” Simon Wiesenthal
Evil starts in the heart and mind. Good starts in the heart and mind too. It’s a preference. But it may be hard to identify so we have Jesus’ statements like: “Be sharp as a serpent but gentle as a dove.” In first Peter, we’re to return evil with a blessing. Paul advises young Timothy to flee the evils of youth. Looking back on my youth, I did many evil things and some were blessed by my friends and society. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And good old John says evil people hate the light because it exposes their deeds. Who wants to be exposed? I know I didn’t, but it was the only way to change and peace. David asks the Lord to search his heart and if there is any wickedness in him show him so he could follow the Lord and his statutes. Talk about brave! It’s one prayer that is always answered and may not feel so good. Usually doesn’t at first. Jesus also says to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. Turning the other cheek, walking another mile and giving our coats along with our cloaks are other ways we can overcome evil.
So, it starts with me. It starts with you. It’s not always clear.
Many of you have had trauma. Many of you have been abused. Many of you have suffered a great loss from someone. And we’re to pray for them and bless them to show we’re children of God. This doesn’t mean we hang out with or provide for them. It may take years for us to do this. Finding someone trained, wise and Godly will help.
It’s difficult! I prayed for my first husband to stop drinking and to get help. He did– 40 years later. I prayed for my mom and even asked if she’d like some Godly help from others. Many times family members are stuck in a drama that never heals and it takes objective, God-loving people who are not us to help. No. It did not turn out. The night before her death, I prayed silently all night. I don’t know if it helped her but it did help me. She is with the Father now, I hope.
I confess. The burning coals on the head of someone who has hurt or harmed me was an image I loved. I still do, at times. But It really means the Father puts a bit more pressure on them to humble themselves and look toward him.
We will not be caught doing nothing. The Father has given us some simple things to do to squelch evil. Simple but not easy. I can attest that it’s healing even though my own situations were painful and lengthy. Pray. Bless. Feed. Walk. We can do this. We only have to do it today with the Father’s help.
Once again, whose job is it? This question helps us to let God be God and us to be ourselves. Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it kind? Did I pray? Evil will vanish.
We too were evil and hostile, yet you provided mercy and grace and adopted us as your children. We forget that Paul said, “We fight against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, …” Unless our heart is right with you, we are helpless. Thank you for saving us and guiding us at the right time.