Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21 (NIV)
Good is all about adding VALUE. Evil is all about de-VALUING. There’s a ton of evil out there. The world is full of people who excel at demeaning, dehumanizing, and destroying. It’s tempting to lower ourselves to that same level. Our culture tells us that if we want to survive, we’ve got to fight fire with fire and hit back harder than we’ve been hit. Really?
As followers of Jesus, we look to add value to everyone around us; including those that think differently and behave differently from us. We even add value to our enemies by loving them and praying for them. Crazy unexpected. Crazy GOOD!
Here are seven ways (from Romans 12) to add VALUE to someone that’s offended you or holds a view that you find offensive:
- Show them respect and honor (v.10b). Everyone has some redeeming qualities.
- Welcome them as guests into your home (v.13b). It’s hard to hate someone hospitable.
- Speak blessing, not cursing (v.14). Hard to do, but powerful!
- Be as mindful of their worth as you are of your own (v.16). Yup, hard to believe they matter to God as much as you do!
- Never think of yourself as being wiser or better (v.16). They might have an edge over you on something.
- Let go of every grudge (v.17). Bitterness only hurts you… not them.
- Forget about getting even… buy your enemy lunch instead (v.19-20).
We follow a leader who was reviled but reviled not again (1 Peter 2:21). We follow a leader who overcame evil with good. That’s what we do! We’re different.