“Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
Look again at that verse, Romans 12:21. Just consider the profound simplicity in that idea. We, the church, are not over- come by evil, but we overcome evil; we overcome it with good. You would be hard-pressed to find a society in the world or throughout history that would not give a whole-hearted endorsement to the concept of overcoming evil with good. Take a moment and imagine a life, your life, characterized by that mindset, that you live not to be overcome with evil but to over- come it with good. What would that kind of mindset do for the world around you? How would it affect the way you handle your relationships? How would it affect your speech, your actions, the way you process the latest headline in your news feed? Living with the goal of overcoming evil with good would probably change everything for you. So, why doesn’t everyone just live that way? Why don’t you?
There is a reason why everyone doesn’t live with a mindset to overcome evil with good. There is a reason why you may find it hard to concentrate on the good in this world and to promote the good in this world without being overwhelmed by evil.
It’s simple—evil is overwhelming! Have you been paying attention to the news? We’ve had horrific mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde. We’ve seen scandal in the Southern Baptist Convention. War continues in Ukraine. Culture war continues in the United States. This is not to mention whatever you have going on in your personal life. The world around you is screaming, “Just give in; be overcome by evil!”
But we know better than the world, don’t we? We, the redeemed people of Christ, We. Know. Better. We’ve seen the good- ness of Christ and we just can’t get over it. Jesus took the full brunt of this world’s evil, and while, by every account he was overcome by it on the cross, he also showed that the good of the Lord is far superior to the strength of evil in this world. Nev- er forget that our Christ is risen; he is alive. He took the full weight of evil in this world and he overcame it, resurrected from apparent defeat, displaying eternal victory!
Overcome in this world, hmmm, not likely, not for those who belong to Christ. Read the words of the apostle Paul, “We
are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bod- ies. . . knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence” (2 Cor. 4:8–10, 14). Be encouraged by those words. They show us why we are not overcome with evil, but we overcome evil with good. That’s who we are. We live in Christ. We are overcomers. So, today, tomorrow, and every day of your life, if you belong to Christ, you live as a force for good in this world. Trials come to you, pain comes to you, gossip, slander comes to you, dis- couragement comes to you, disturbing news comes to you, be reminded of who you are in Christ, turn everything toward his good, and watch the Lord win out!