Spotlight 02/2016: Victory over evil—doing good
Victory with Christ. How do we achieve that? District Apostle Mark Woll has found a tried and tested recipe in Romans 12: 21: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Once I was travelling in a non-Christian country and a woman beside me asked me the purpose of my visit. I explained to her my work as an Apostle and that I was active by commission of Christ. She responded by commending our task and stated the following: “Evil flourishes when goodness sits down, so it is nice to see that you are active in doing good here in this country.”
Over the years I often thought about this profound statement and its meaning: evil will flourish if there is an absence of good. Our responsibility as human beings and especially as children of God is to daily practise acts of kindness and to do good (Galatians 6: 9–10). The result created is a chain reaction that reduces the spread of evil. For example, a visit to someone who is lonely or in need can bring joy and encouragement as opposed to doing nothing and leaving them in their negative condition.
Victory over idleness: being active
The Chief Apostle recently stated that we cannot simply be consumers or spectators, but should be active participants in the work of God. In North America we speak of an “armchair quarterback” when we are referring to a spectator who criticizes and offers his opinion on how the game should be played and what every player should be doing—including the coach— although he himself has never played the sport or even been to a game.
Our goal is to inherit eternal life. For that we must actively engage in our life of faith where Jesus sets the rules. We cannot be idle. Equally, it is important to adhere to the rules of the game in order to gain the victory.
A matter of motivation: love is all that counts
In certain field sports it does not matter how spectacular the goal scored was. If the player is offside or has violated other rules of the game, the goal is not counted.
In spiritual terms, the main rule of Christ is love. All our activity, no matter how spectacular, if it is not motivated by our love it simply is not valid. In Matthew 7: 22–23 we read of those who will cry on the day of the Lord: “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
Victory over evil is attained by an active life of faith where we seek to do good and live according to the gospel of Jesus Christ.