2018-11-07 / Faith

Overcoming Evil with Good

Lessons from the Heart
By Pastor Eric J. Haley

Haley Haley October is finally over! It was a tough month for America. Hatefilled speech seems to have become a national pastime. Civility has become oldschool as street violence seems unres trained, death threats are received daily by our politicians, and normally peaceful places of worship have become soft targets for extremists bent on murder. Those who think it has never been worse in America are passing over a lot of history. It certainly has been worse, but for this generation, that might be a fair assessment.

In times like these, it is easy to lose hope, and sort of circle the wagons, thinking that if we can just hunker down, keep our heads low and guard our stuff, things will get better.

Jesus, when prophetically speaking of the Last Days, said, “Because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” Matthew 24:12. That is a sad thought, that at the very moment the world needs more love and less violence, people who understand real love choose not to express it because of fear of violence. It is like having the only light in a very dark place and deciding to hide the light for a better day when things are not so dark. Jesus said something about that too. (Matthew 5:14- 16). Yet, light is there specifically to overcome darkness and love is there specifically to overcome evil.

The Apostle Peter, who wrote a lot about the Last Days said it this way: “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore, be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.” Here Peter is referencing an “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.” Proverbs 10:12.

So Peter something new and strange, but something that had been understood for many generations. There is great power in love: not the flowers-in-your-hair type love of the 1960s, but a fervent love that comes from God, compelling us to go beyond the cosmetic and deeply care for others. We need the kind of love that Jesus has for us.

Now that kind of love does not come easily. It requires a change of heart that only comes from God. Peter said it requires serious prayer and being “watchful” or being alert to the needs around us. It also requires using the gifts God has given us, and a desire to do good and not evil. “Do not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:31.

Eric Haley is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Carroll County in Delphi.

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