Who is Overcoming Who?

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” -Romans 12:21 (NIV)

Human behavior is tragically repetitive. It is repetitive because we use the exact same methods time and time again to deal with conflict. It is tragic because we often resort to such violent and vengeful means to somehow ensure in our minds that justice has been served. When someone strikes us, our instinctive response is to strike back and sometimes with even more malice. But if we do this, what is it that separates us from the one that has harmed us? Though we may think that we are justified in our reactions and that this gives us the moral high ground, we are no different from our enemies if we use the same underhanded and destructive methods they use. Instead of overcoming evil it has conquered us and made us its slave.

How then can we escape from this dilemma? As long as our sinful nature continues to hold sway over us, our concept of justice will be skewed and warped, and this will be reflected in our actions and reactions. The solution therefore lies in dealing with our innate depravity. But how can this be done? It is only through Christ, who entered this world so that humanity may be freed from their slavery to sin, that we have the hope of being restored. When we have acknowledged His death and resurrection for us and have allowed His Spirit to enter our hearts, He will give us wisdom and discernment as to how to live as His children. Through His righteousness being worked out through us, He will teach how to walk justly and to love mercy. In this we are able by His enabling to overcome the evils we may face with the light that He shines forth from us; bearing witness to the fact that we are new creations in Christ, holy and blameless before Him and before men.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.