Return Good for Evil

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Good for Evi

See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone (1 Thess. 5:15).

Were you ever looking for the gold mine but you got the shaft? Anybody ever let you down? Ever had a friend turn his back on you?

Our natural response is, “Why that lousy jerk! I’ll get him back if it’s the last thing I do!” That is a natural response — emphasis on the word “natural.” The spiritual person, the Jesus-follower, resists that impulse. They do the right thing — even after they have been wronged.

Do you remember Joseph in the Old Testament? His brothers hated him so much that they wanted to kill him. At the last minute, Reuben, the oldest of the group, insisted that they sell him into slavery instead. He was taken into Egypt.

Years later, he was in a position to inflict a lot of pain on his brothers. Instead, he revealed his identity to them and saved his family and all his people.

What did he say to his brothers?

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones (Genesis 50:20-21).

Years later, when Paul was writing to the Christians in Thessalonica, he included a similar word of instruction. “Return good for evil.” It’s what Jesus did. It’s one proof that we belong to Him. You don’t know what God is doing — He may use your act to redeem a lot of evil.

John McFadden


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