Sometimes a verse comes to your mind or you read a verse and then see it somewhere else. Those are not accidents. The verse I've been drawn to this week is Romans 12:21 -
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
I love the power of this verse. I discovered this verse presents a defensive and offensive strategy:
(Defensive) Do not be overcome by evil
(Offensive) but overcome evil with good.
Both strategies are difficult and require a plan of action.
Defensive Plan of Action:
1. Spend time reading Bible.
2. Spend time daily, talking and listening to God.
3. Choose not to be "conformed to the pattern of the world" (Rom. 12:2) - choose to be different than the people in the world.
4. Set your mind on things above. (Col. 3:2)
Offensive Plan of Action:
1. Persevering kindness.
The verses immediately prior to this one give instructions that are contrary to human nature. Don't repay evil for evil. Don't take revenge when someone has wronged you. Be at peace with all people. And finally be kind - not just to your friends - to your enemies: the rude people in the grocery store, the boss that is really demanding, the family member that is so negative, the person you work with that drives you crazy, etc.
There is no place for the following:
"They're going to be sorry they did that to me"
"I'll show them"
"They're going to pay for this"
"I'll give them a taste of their own medicine"
"They can't get away with that, not if I have something to do with it"
How do we overcome evil? Don't give in to the desire to take revenge or to teach someone a lesson. Evil is overcome by unfailing, persevering kindness.