Discussion/Devotional thought of the day:
” 12:21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. Romans 12:21 (NLT)
Consider this qutoe:
” The task for a Christian is to drown evil in an abundance of good. It is not a question of negative campaigns, or of being anti anything. On the contrary, we should live positively, full of optimism, with youthfulness, joy and peace. We should be understanding with everybody, with the followers of Christ and with those who abandon him, or do not know him at all. But understanding does not mean holding back, or remaining indifferent, but being active.” Escriva, Josemaria
We live in a world of “anti’s”, or at least people tell us constantly what they are against. The list is usually huge, and sometimes, if they think about it – inconsistent.
Often these “anti” positions are based in creating a strong defense, striking out against what is perceived to attack them, or limit them, or taking away that which they think they need. The problem, as Escriva notes – is that to be so defined by “anti” never defines us positively. Focusing on what we hate, or can’t tolerate, being constantly on the defensive, leaves us at the end of the day empty.
The option, some would maintain, is being passive. That being positive means toleration, that means compromise, that means we abandon our defensive, and open ourselves to being beaten, scorned, betrayed and hurt. Or that we allow others to force their ideas upon us, and we meekly (a word misunderstood) accept their position. If this were true, then the cross is the ultimate form of weakness, but it isn’t. It was a choice. It was a matter of embracing us, that we would be changed.
Such is the activity of overcoming evil with good, and overcoming hatred with love. it’s going the extra mile with those who demand our service, simply because it gives us more time to reflect on them the love of Christ. For that is what matters, and that is what changes people. It is deliberately choosing to serve – not in view of backing down or compromising to keep the peace – but to show the love of Christ.
It’s not easy.. no where near as easy as being “anti” and standing in a place of judgment and condemnation. But instead finding the strength to love, to serve, to overcome.
Lord, even as You have mercy help us to reflect that mercy… and to have the strength to show it.