Evil for Evil

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    There are often many problems and evils in our world today. Sometimes wicked people get away with their wickedness and don’t seem to have to pay for their evil. Sometimes people are mistreated and abused by those who should be protecting them. Sometimes these ungodly actions are a result of biases, prejudices, or racism that should not be there. James teaches us that when we have these biases we become “judges with evil thoughts” (James 2:1-4). In the Christ the things that often divide us should no longer be present. Race, social standing, money, or gender are not to be dividing factors keeping us from Christ (Galatians 3:28). However, in this world sometimes these biases are real and influence how certain groups are treated. Sometimes people are mistreated because of their race, social standing, or even their gender and this is not right. How do we change this? How do we make a difference? How do we eliminate all of the unjust abuse and improper treatment in the world?

    Some have decided that since “their people” have been mistreated, they are going to respond with violence and destruction. Cities are burning and people are dying at the hands of some who have been mistreated in the past. They should not have been mistreated, however evil will never be led to righteousness by introducing more evil. Evil is never a righteous response even in the face of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.” Good is the only thing that can truly change evil.

    The difficult thing is that there are some evil people who will continually refuse to change. Regardless what is done, they still will not change and will not do right. David was continually oppressed by Saul who never changed. David had opportunity to kill Saul on several occasions, but refused to do so. The prophets were continually oppressed by the children of Israel simply because they spoke truth. The Jews seemed to be unjustly and violently opposed to the Gentiles throughout the New Testament. In each of these examples, the ones being mistreated trusted in God to deliver them. They often and understandably so cried “how long” to God. They sometimes didn’t understand why they were enduring such pain and suffering. Yet they never allowed the evil around them to cause them to lash out with more evil or unrighteousness. God will judge righteously. God will one day repay evil with righteous vengeance (Romans 12:19). It is not our place to act out in vengeance.

    What can we do to change the world? We can do right. We can let our light shine (Matthew 5:14). We can treat others they way we want to be treated. We can seek to eliminate any unjust prejudices and biases that might be in our heart and see all people as souls. We can do what is right even when we are mistreated and abused. We can leave vengeance to God and trust that He will judge righteously. We can speak out against evil. We can teach about evil...and good. We can trust that through doing good, God’s will is going to be accomplished and ultimately in the end righteous will overcome evil. Everything is not always fair “under the sun”, but there will come a day when righteousness will overcome evil. In that day, let us be found on the side of righteousness.