While John and Marti are on retreat, our good friend, Dave Roper will be providing our Catches each day. For more on Dave’s works, click here.
Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8,9
George MacDonald has a thoughtful commentary on these texts: “There is no nobility, no dignity in an evil retort of any kind; evil is evil when returned as much as when given; the only shining thing is good—and the most shining thing is good for evil” (A Rough Shaking).
Years ago, a friend gave me some of the best advice I ever received: “When someone strikes out at you with an evil act or accusation, don’t curse it; don’t rehearse it; don’t nurse it; reverse it.” Return the curse with a blessing.
If our detractors are wrong about us we can respectfully correct them, but even in those cases in which we are wrongly accused the nobler part is to say little or nothing at all and always to return a blessing. We’ll always feel better about ourselves if we do. Perhaps that’s what Peter meant when he said that we’re called to give a blessing that we may inherit one.
It’s never easy to take this narrow road, but it’s the one Jesus took (Acts 8:32). Lord, “give us the power to let our rag-rights go” (GM).