Overcome Evil With Good

Retaliation, Retribution, and Revenge are closer cousins than you might think.  Today, the news is all about Syria and yet our Scriptures about Overcoming say,

When they hurled their insults at [Jesus], he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:23)

The Kingdom Time Frame is what Jesus relied upon.

Solutions to this Syrian problem abound:

  • Pope Francis says to pray and fast which is the most God-honoring thing to do.  It respects God’s timing and God’s ways.  It honors God’s Truth, His love, His concern for humanity, and His power to resolve problems with both divine intervention and human intervention.  It doesn’t choose sides but allows God to work miracles.
  • The United Nations is far from being united on doing anything…though the flowery words condemn the use of chemical weapons.  All talk no action.
  • The United States is every bit as divided as the United Kingdom.  There is a crisis of confidence in everything from intelligence sources to what the consequences would end up being.
  • The Arab League has called for an international response but even among the members of the Arab League, they are divided.  They aren’t their brothers’ keepers even though they have the most at stake.
  • Israel has readied its “iron dome” and test fired a missile, and has kept words to a minimum though they believe America has a moral obligation and a responsibility to communicate resolve in the face of a nuclear Iran.

What do we do as Christians when we are faced with the serious dilemma as to whether retaliation for chemical weapons use against innocents merits killing even more people (many of whom will probably also be innocent bystanders and human shields in all of this).

How do we overcome such a complex problem?  Where is the Truth in all of this?

We do what Jesus did.  We do today what the Truth did then.

We adopt a Kingdom Time Frame.

We can pray that God will raise up someone to put a stop to Assad and his use of chemical weapons, if indeed he was the one using them.  Maybe there is someone already in the Syrian civil war whose vested interest in retribution and retaliation can change the situation.  We can pray that God will allow specific technologies to continually thwart a nuclear Iran.  We can pray that God will intervene by sending a plague or a weather-related or seismic event to shift the circumstances.  We can pray that Christians can powerfully witness in this moment by seeking God and not the counsel of a million political advisers.

In the arena of choices, retribution is easy; retaliation is easy; and revenge is way too easy.  All of them propel a human time frame that says, “Solve it now!  Give me the quick fix.  Give me satisfaction of knowing I got an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

Overcome Evil With Good pic olive branchChristians are supposed to live differently:

Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Jesus didn’t retaliate.  He was an Overcomer long before the Cross and the tomb.

Categories Chapel Worship/News | Tags: | Posted on September 4, 2013

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