Overcoming Evil With Love

Tuesday, October 6, 2020
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Listen while you read: "Hark The Glad Sound"1 (Lyrics)

Matthew 5:39-44 – But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy." But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use and persecute you. (NKJV)

The other day, I was walking and typing out a text when I looked up to see an angry-looking man. He reprimanded me, "This is a sidewalk. You need to be looking where you are going." I laughed, replying, "I am sorry. Usually it is me saying that to someone else."

"What? That makes it right — that you do whatever everyone else does?" he exclaimed.

"No sir, it doesn't." I replied. "I said I was sorry."

"Yeah, I heard you," he grumbled.

While clearly I had not paid attention and had disregarded physical distancing, my thoughts were, "Wow! He was pretty nasty." I walked faster to release the self-righteous anger. After a few minutes, I felt God showing me this man. He had a suitcase in one hand. Then, I remembered an old, beat-up van with the side door open. The man had been moving or helping someone move. It was hot, and his day was probably not going well. He was likely on item 25 of a list of 453 things to do, and here comes this idiot — me — not looking where she is going. I found myself whispering to God, I forgive his nastiness. Please give him strength and release his anger.

Despite this prayer, I was amazed that a small incident, where I was in the wrong, resulted in my non-Christian impulse to repay bad behaviour with self-righteousness and a little anger. Hmm.

What did Jesus mean by repaying evil with good? The news is replete with evil: young people hosting COVID-19 parties, allegations of conflict of interest in government, rioting as a by-product of peaceful protest, abuse of power, sexual depravity. We hear a lot about evil and more evil. Yet Christians have clear biblical guidelines to react differently than secular individuals. We are to feed our hungry enemy and bless those who persecute us. We are not to repay evil with evil but rather to overcome evil with good.

I thought about how I could have repaid this man's bad behaviour with good. I realized that the man's reaction was probably less related to my nearly walking into him than to what was happening in his hectic life that day.

When we encounter bad behaviour, let's remember that we are called to repay evil with goodness. Perhaps by reminding ourselves that the behaviour of others may have little or nothing to do with us, it will be easier for us to turn the other cheek.

Prayer: O God, help us to respond to bad behaviour with kindness. Show us how to turn the other cheek when we are wronged. Bring healing and peace to our lives and to Your world. Open our minds and our hearts so that we may offer healing and peace to those we encounter. Amen.

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About the author:

Orlanda Drebit <orlandadrebit@yahoo.com>
Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wise words, Orlanda.

    Great advice, Orlanda.

    Amen Orlanda. I appreciate this word today; it is a good reminder.

    Thank you, Orlanda, for reminding us of our Lord’s command to respond to evil with good. Blessings.

    Thanks, Orlando. I just read another devotional that said, “hurting people hurt people.” Fits well, doesn’t it.

    Thank you Orlanda, for this devotional. Your message hit home on so many levels. Keep inspiring us with your gift of writing.

    Thank you, Orlanda, for this very meaningful devotion. You have certainly challenged us today to practise this teaching of Jesus.

    Thank you. Love your enemies. You are correct, more kindness is needed. It is too easy to love our family and friends and hate people who are evil or sinful. We need to not grow tired doing good.

    Dear Orlanda:
    Thank you for pointing me in the right direction again. It’s so easy to get sidetracked.
    May the Good Lord protect and bless you.

    Thank you, Orlando, for this reminder. This message certainly resonates with me. So often, I could and should do better.

    What a beautiful devotional my friend! Thank you for the reminder to turn the other cheek when someone does us wrong and instead, show kindness. I also find it difficult sometimes, but I’m getting better!

    Dear Orlanda,
    Thank you for sharing your feelings and your thoughts and how we can be more understanding of others and to overcome wrongs with love. May you have a blessed day with your eyes opened by God to who you can show kindness to. Thank you for encouraging us all to be better Christians.

    Thanks Orlando, we all need to look up and thank God for our day and to share kind words to our fellow man.
    I look out my window and see, a walking mother on her phone and not paying attention to the little girl walking behind her. Car are whizzing by on the road beside them. I feel like I should be like that man and say watch your child, not you phone. She eventually, stops and looks behind. And calls the girl to catch up.

    Greetings Orlanda,
    So good to have a devotional from you again. Thank you for your thoughtful writing and a good reminder to not jump to the wrong conclusion and to stop and consider what might be the reason we get a negative action from someone. This takes me back to a phrase that was popular years ago – WWJD- What would Jesus do. A reminder to stop and consider how Jesus would handle the situation. He surely radiated love and care wherever He journeyed.
    Blessings for writing.

    This is an important insight especially for today.
    Anger at such incidents tends to burrow inside and make us sick.
    My method is to allow the anger limited periods, and then get rid of it.

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