9 Don’t let love be a mere outward show. Recoil from what is evil, and cling to what is good. 10 Love each other devotedly and with brotherly love; and set examples for each other in showing respect. 11 Don’t be lazy when hard work is needed, but serve the Lord with spiritual fervor. 12 Rejoice in your hope, be patient in your troubles, and continue steadfastly in prayer. 13 Share what you have with God’s people, and practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you – bless them, don’t curse them! 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be sensitive to each others needs – don’t think yourselves better than others, but make humble people your friends. Don’t be conceited. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but try to do what everyone regards as good. 18 If possible, and to the extent that it depends on you, live in peace with all people. 19 Never seek revenge, my friends; instead, leave that to God’s anger; for in the Tanakh it is written, “ADONAI says, ‘Vengeance is my responsibility; I will repay.'” 20 On the contrary, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For by doing this, you will heap fiery coals [of shame] on his head.” 21 Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.
When you think of evil conquering good, what do you imagine? Do you see a dark, imposing figure standing over a helpless figure of light? Do you see Hitler standing over the Jews? Do you see satan prodding one with his pitchfork?
I guess any of these could be true, but it is not what I see this passage as saying. You see, our adversary is knowledgable. He knows he cannot steal us from God. He knows we cannot be snatched from the Lord’s grasp. So, conquering of the believer is nothing more than robbing God of His deserved glory. And the best way to do that is to get us to forget His admonishment to us.
Just these few passages are ripe with admonishments to the believer.
1. Make sure your love is not just show.
2. Recoil from evil.
3. Cling to good.
4. Devoted love to each other.
5. Setting an example of respect.
6. Be not lazy.
7. Serve the Lord with fervor.
8. Rejoice in hope.
9. Be patient in troubles.
10. Steadfast in prayers.
11. Share with God’s people.
12. Be hospitable
13. Bless those who curse you.
14. Rejoice with the rejoicing.
15. Weep with the weeping.
16. Be sensitive to others needs.
17. Do not think yourself better than others.
18. Befriend the humble.
19. Do not repay evil with evil.
20. Do good.
21. Live in peace when possible.
22. Leave vengeance to the Lord – it is His to take.
23. Feed your enemy.
24. Give your enemy drink.
Any of these things that evil can negate becomes a conquering for satan over the believer. ANY OF THEM! Because to follow God’s word is to bring Him glory. To honor God’s will is to bring Him glory. To Him belongs the glory!!
So when someone does you wrong, and you want to run to evil – STOP, DROP, and PRAY. Renew your mind, removing the though of evil. Drop to your knees to the Lord. Pray for His strength to resist the devil. God’s word promises that the devil will flee from you, if you will only resist!
It is not easy in the flesh, it is a light burden when you are yoked to the Lord.