Overcome Evil with Good & Romans 12:19

This will be another post on the things my husband and I talked about this weekend on our long drives.  Although it’s a not really a “feel good,” romantic post, I thought it was a good spiritual growth topic to cover here.

How do you overcome evil with good, especially when someone has done something truly evil against you or someone you love?

How do you deal with Christians like that – true believers who engage in character defamation, spreading slander about you or your family, or worse, who make false accusations against you or your family members, and then go on to feel zero guilt over it?  So disturbing right?  And rightfully angering.

I’ve learned the hard way that it’s much better to trust that God will be your Defender against such people, that He will help “set the record straight” when the time is right for things to be exposed.  And I do believe things are always eventually exposed.  It may take a long time, but God is a just God, and He brings to light that which people would want to be kept in darkness.  You can be sure He doesn’t let evil doers get away with evil acts.  Even more so His own children (Christians), as the Bible warns He punishes those He loves… because it’s the right thing for Him to do.

It’s good to trust God knows what He’s doing.  I personally find so much peace in resting on that promise.  And if you’re going through persecution for speaking truth, you can also rest on the promise that you are suffering through something that will ultimately be a blessing to you.

 

      11“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 

12“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

To me, this is a beautiful promise… we have hope through persecution, and can trust that God will deal justly with those who do insult us, slander us, and falsely accuse us of all kinds of evil.

It’s God’s job, ultimately, and it’s our job to trust He does right by us.

When we run around and try to “correct” any and every person who is mocking or insulting or even spreading falsehoods about us (which I definitely tried to do in the past… unsuccessfully), we’re more concerned about “people-pleasing,” and protecting our reputation than in trusting God.  I don’t think it’s always wrong to try to confront someone falsely accusing you of something, but in trying to, you take on the risk of being more tempted to sin.  So in my opinion it’s best to stand back and allow God to deal with ALL of it, I’ve found it’s much easier to have peace that way – which is what He would want. 

I have found I am able to trust that not only will He provide protection (and He has, God is so faithful!), but He also gives us the promise that He repays and takes vengeance for us.  As unChristian as that sounds, it’s right there in the Bible for a reason (probably to scare people away from doing evil):

“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath: for it is written,

‘Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,’

said the Lord.”

Romans 12:19

Some commentary from Barne’s Notes on this passage and verse:

“For it is written – Deuteronomy 32:35.

Vengeance is mine – That is, it belongs to me (God) to inflict revenge. This expression implies that it is “improper” for people to interfere with that which properly belongs to God. When we are angry, and attempt to avenge ourselves, we should remember, therefore, that we are infringing on the prerogatives of the Almighty.

I will repay … – This is said in substance, though not in so many words, in Deuteronomy 32:35-36. Its design is to assure us that those who deserve to be punished, shall be; and that, therefore, the business of revenge may be safely left in the hands of God. Though “we” should not do it, yet if it ought to be done, it will be done. This assurance will sustain us, not in the “desire” that our enemy shall be punished, but in the belief that “God” will take the matter into his own hands; that he can administer it better than we can; and that if our enemy “ought” to be punished, he will be. “We,” therefore, should leave it all with God. That God will vindicate his people, is clearly and abundantly proved in 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10Revelation 6:9-11Deuteronomy 32:40-43.

The part that my husband assured me of this weekend was so comforting to know.  That if someone does need to be punished, God will do it in His own time (or maybe He already has and you just didn’t witness it).  We don’t need to worry about infecting our souls with the poison of bitterness or hatred – although is it ever tempting to feel those feelings when you see someone get away with evil against someone you love!
My husband said that when someone gives in with actions to those toxic emotions and desiring revenge on their enemies, it affects them and makes them stoop to the same level – even disqualifying their witness.  It’s ok to desire justice, even through a legal system if need be, but it’s not good to take pleasure in seeing someone suffer more than they deserve.  Which is why it’s best to leave vengeance up to God – only He can truly understand “how much” punishment is deserved for someone who has wronged you.  There’s no way we could make that call, although I think it’s totally human (and biblical – think David in Psalm 109 where he asks for God to destroy his enemies in the cruelest of ways possible) to have those feelings.

My husband had me read some verses this weekend along these lines while in the car, and it was so good to hear his opinion on my questions.

One of the passages was David asking God to make his enemies ashamed and disgraced for what they’d done to him.  It’s so comforting to know how human King David was 🙂  I totally relate to his passage of desiring to see enemies be disgraced and ashamed of their actions.  It’s nice to know that he felt those feelings toward his enemies, and yet He was called a man after God’s own heart.  God doesn’t seem to hold our humanity against us regarding our strong emotions, ❤ but He loves us too much to let us stay in those emotions to the point where they would destroy us (and others).

Which brings me to the second passage my husband had me read with him 🙂 which was Jesus’ thoughts on loving our enemies:

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor(fellow man) and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, [n]love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may [show yourselves to] be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]. 46 For if you love[only] those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers [wishing them God’s blessing and peace], what more [than others] are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles [who do not know the Lord] do that?48 You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

I seriously laughed at how these two passages seem so at odds with each other… and told my husband outright that I much preferred David’s response! 😀  I knew of both of them, but it’s always wonderful to hear my husband explain these things and talk it over him candidly. ❤

They do seem at odds… one calling for your enemies to be ashamed and disgraced for how they’ve treated you, and the next claiming that if you don’t also love them, you haven’t achieved spiritual maturity.  In reality, the second passage also lines up with overcoming evil with good in Romans 12:14-21.

14 Bless those who persecute you [who cause you harm or hardship]; bless and do not curse [them]. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief]. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty [conceited, self-important, exclusive], but associate with humble people [those with a realistic self-view]. Do not overestimate yourself. 17 Never repay anyone evil for evil. Take thought for what is right and gracious and proper in the sight of everyone. 18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness]; for it is written [in Scripture], “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.20 But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for by doing this you will heap [e]burning coals on his head.”21 Do not be overcome and conquered by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

It ALL makes sense when you view it through trusting God to be the ultimate Judge and Avenger of wrongs.

We are supposed to be able to overcome someone’s evil toward us that may have truly harmed us by not allowing their actions to destroy our peace and love in our own lives.  The only way to do that is to be able to FULLY rely on God that He will repay, that we can be kind to them (which heaps burning coals on their head), and understand they are in God’s hands and that we don’t have to concern ourselves with their punishment.

He is just, and like He said… He will repay.

Stephanie

 

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Overcome Evil with Good & Romans 12:19

  1. Stephanie

    My contention with you lies directly in your friendship with a man that states it’s perfectly fine for a girl to be married off to a man as long as she has reached “puberty”
    Per BGR’s own words even if a girl has reached puberty at age ten- it’s okay if it’s at her fathers discretion..cause.. God.
    Are you seeing what I am seeing here?..?

    Then you criticize SS’s post that merely extends mercy to ALL sinners.- yep child molesters and their enablers-( I don’t know SS from Eve BTW)

    I never once accused your husband of being a child molester. Not once. That is a lie that you posted on RPG blog. Don’t be ridiculous.

    Nonetheless,Your affiliation and written support of BGR is equal to being aligned with a person like Warren Jeffs.. who in their right mind would associate with such a person? Well…

    Marital rape and preying on the underaged is both illegal and punishable by Law. This is what BGR is promoting. I know from your writing that you are opposed to how Muslims treat women/ girls- so your support of BGR confuses me.

  2. BGR’s words are a lot different from what you’re saying here. And he’s already defended himself.

    As far as “SS,” her post was criticized by 3 people as far as I know. And all of them (2 males and then me) came to the same conclusion that it was bonkers and not at all biblically correct.

    She’s an interesting woman for sure. She admitted a couple of years ago that she caused her husband to have a porn addiction because she was denying him sex regularly, and gained a lot of weight. Now she writes that she’s been dragging him to marriage counseling where their Pastor AMOG’s him in front of her – as the Pastor is trying to get him to do something she seems to want him to do I guess. It’s the classic “I want my husband to do what I want him to do so I’ll bring him in front of my Pastor for marriage counseling” thing. I feel sorry for her, but I think she’s not as “nice” as she seems on the surface.

    And her marriage is certainly not what she presents it as online, hence the porn addiction, marriage counseling, husband humiliation by their Pastor, etc. I think she even recently posted about them having sex issues since she has endometriosis 😦 Again, she’s someone I more feel sorry for, than hate.

    Anyway, it’s interesting you think I shouldn’t have “criticized” her post. She actually slandered me publicly a couple of years ago. Me criticizing her post came right after she told me via email that linking to other people’s posts to criticize them was totally fine (she was defending her past actions). So apparently she wasn’t bothered by it (and she doesn’t seem to be at all either).

  3. Stephanie

    I don’t follow her so I have no idea if she posted her marital problems online or to you personally via email. Either way, that is very personal stuff and should be kept private.

    You had every right to criticize that post if you felt her viewpoint was unbiblical on the matter of child molesters. However, I saw it in a different light.

    As far as BGR, the more he explains his position, the more I am convinced he should convert to Islam. To his credit he is a masterclickbaiter. 😉

  4. I actually saw most of those comments revealing that kind of information at DeepStrength’s blog and Dalrock’s where she’s openly talked about them. I agree a wife shouldn’t talk about that kind of stuff when they’re not anonymous, but since so many people are worried if blogs show someone’s “real life,” or if someone is who they say they are, when someone is that honest with their struggles it’s a welcome comparison to be able to see if things add up, and if someone is being truthful or lying about their life or marriage.

    Lysa Terkeurst for example constantly showed on her blog that her marriage was happy and good and fulfilling, and yet it was horrible all those years and deteriorating behind the scenes. If someone is running a teaching blog or writing spiritual articles in any way, they SHOULD be held up to criticism on whether or not their marriage is doing ok and if they are the ones actually leading their husband through having their Pastor or Priest AMOG him in counseling sessions. All that is necessary to know for the public reading their stuff, so that we know if they’re actually someone credible.

  5. I agree that if one is going to teach they must be held accountable. It’s got to be difficult at times doing a balancing act on what or not to share. I gather you consult your husband prior to posting personal matters and I think that is wise of you.

    Have a nice rest of your weekend, Stephanie

  6. He does veto a lot of things I run by him as ideas or even comments. I think he’s protected me in that way, but I also see how in the past I should have asked him more about how to deal with certain situations where I was called a whore or slut etc. I definitely didn’t always respond in the best way – I rushed to defend myself, and should have waited to ask him what he thought (which I know now he would have said to ignore all of it and report to him only). He has so much wisdom.

  7. Okay,.. soooo-BGR has come clean on how it’s fine and dandy to force ones wife to have sex, and slap her in the face if she gets out of line.. both are illegal by the way.

    Sounds like Sharia law to me..

  8. “Lysa Terkeurst for example constantly showed on her blog that her marriage was happy and good and fulfilling, and yet it was horrible all those years and deteriorating behind the scenes.”

    I find your perspective interesting, because many (mostly women?) do not seem to have a problem with that hypocrisy, especially when it is a woman doing the “ministering”. It just now struck me that her situation was also basically like the #metoo  cases of late where many, maybe most, have no interest in hearing both sides, but instead choose to accept the woman’s version as truth.

  9. There were a few of us talking about wanting to hear her husband’s side over at Deepstrength’s blog back when this happened. But I do think it’s rare to want both sides of the story when it comes to a woman claiming she was cheated on (or part of the MeToo thing). Maybe people just tend to see women as always the victim? I don’t think cheating is ever ok, but most of us agreed that we wanted to hear his side of whether or not she made her ministry her priority in her life – over her marriage and her relationship with him. It kind of seemed like that, but no one knows as of right now.

  10. From what I read, the affair had been going on for quite awhile. Anyway two wrongs don’t make a right and my heart goes out to Lysa. My first husband committed adultery on me several times. I was a SAHW, never refused him sex. Still he cheated.

  11. You are right that two wrongs don’t make a right. He shouldn’t have cheated – no matter the circumstances.

    I’m so sorry about your past marriage 😦 I know Ame was married to a man like that (from http://blendingame.wordpress.com/) you may want to talk to her, she is wonderful! And her husband cheated even though she loved him, was available and attractive… it’s my theory that men like that have serious sexual hangups from childhood – or just serious character disorders like narcissism. Lysa’s husband could be like that, we don’t know.

  12. I think he cheated due to low self esteem and a false sense of entitlement. He no doubt had some form of personality disorder. And yes his childhood was not stable- raised by a single Mom of rather shakey character:substance abuse,three kids with three separate fathers- etc. No good, solid male role model in the picture.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.