March 29 2021
Today, Monday March 29
Responding to Evil God’s Way
St. Augustine is often quoted as saying: “Preach the Gospel, preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.” Of course we will need to use words to share the Good News of the death of Christ on the cross and His resurrection but what the unbelieving world around us is really looking for, is the reality of the power of a resurrected life being displayed in our attitudes, actions and life.
Almost every writer and book of the New Testament has something to say about how we should respond to the evil in the world around us. We can’t control the attitudes and actions of others but we can control our responses to them.
Jesus, in His first recorded sermon in the New Testament said this: "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.” (Matthew 5:38-41)
Under Roman rule, a hated Roman soldier could demand a citizen of a conquered country to carry his baggage for one mile and they were required to do it. But at the end of the mile, they could put down the heavy luggage and say, “That’s it, I’ve done my duty and I don’t have to go any further.” Jesus tells His followers to go the extra mile. Jesus taught us at the end of the first mile to say, “Sir, I would like to carry your baggage another mile for you.” Of course the soldier would be shocked and ask why. And the follower of Jesus would get the opportunity to tell of his experience with the Gospel of Jesus and how it changed his life.
Our greatest witness is not in what we say, but in what we do and the motive and attitude in which we do it! And it is only by the grace of God and by the love of Christ working and in control of our lives that makes it possible for us to return good for evil!