“Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18)
When someone has hurt you, what’s your gut reaction?
You might be surprised to hear the biblical response is simple: rebel.
But what is rebellion to someone who has become your enemy? Is it rebellious to hurt that person back? Of course not. When we hurt the people who hurt us, we’re not rebelling against them, but we’re merely following their example. Frankly, treating an enemy like an enemy is one of the least rebellious things we can do.
President Abraham Lincoln said a long time ago, “The best way to destroy an enemy is to make [him or her] a friend.”
The Apostle Paul wrote much longer ago, “Do let evil conquer you but conquer evil by doing good” (Romans 12:21).
Before Paul, Jesus Christ looked at his enemies from the cross on which they were killing him, and he said, “Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
Jesus rebelled against the evil that killed him with good. If we’re being honest, we behave like God’s enemies sometimes, but Jesus made enemies his friends. In doing so, he won over all evil.
Does this mean you should take your abusers out to lunch or give them more opportunities to hurt you? Certainly not. It only means that the goodness of God has set you free from striking back.
Want to win over evil?
Rebel against it.