January 11, 2022

There Is A Shield From Hatred

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Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21

You won’t go far in this life without coming up against hatred.   But, if you know that you’re loved, you will be less likely to be derailed by it. The apostle Paul achieved that sense of confidence in the face of hostility because he was secure in his relationship with God.

Paul traveled among different peoples in his life, and he elicited strong reactions. Many Jews hated him, believing he had betrayed his Jewish roots by following Jesus. Others felt threatened by his preaching of the gospel and the changes it caused in people’s lives. He was frequently beaten, imprisoned, and kicked out of town during his ministry.

Yet his advice to fellow disciples was, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil… If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone…If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink… Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (portions of Romans 12:17-21).

Paul’s steadfastness in the face of persecution came from his conviction that neither the hatred of others, nor any other power, could compare to the strength of God’s love for him (Romans 8:37-39). Did you know that God loves you with the same strength that Paul was loved? We can have the same confidence that Paul had when we’re faced with evil. Seeking to overcome evil with good, realize that God offers that same transformative love to your enemies as well. You can be God’s conduit of that love.

 

Resource reading:  Romans 8:31-39