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Faith & Insight: Overcome evil with good

Louis J. Locke

Writer and theologian Henri J. M. Nouwen commented on verses 9-21 in the book of Romans 12, writing: “These words cut to the heart of the spiritual life. They make it clear what it means to choose life, not death, to choose blessings not curses. But what is asked of us here goes against the grain of our human nature. We will only be able to act according to Paul’s words by knowing with our whole being that what we are asked to do for others is what God has done for us.”

Following are those verses. I hope you will read through them contemplatively and allow God to speak to your heart.

“Let love be genuine. Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it.

“Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.

“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other, yes, outdo one another in showing honor.

“Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

“Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.

“Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

“Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back,’ says the Lord.

“Instead, if your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness.

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Pastor Louis J. Locke is the founding pastor of Carson City Foursquare Church. http://www.ffccarson.org