How to recognize and overcome evil

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

Romans 12:21

John was driving home late one night when he picked up a hitchhiker. As they rode along, he began to be suspicious of his passenger. John checked to see if his wallet was safe in the pocket of his coat that was on the seat between them, but it wasn’t there! So he slammed on the brakes, ordered the hitchhiker out, and said, “Hand over the wallet immediately!”

The frightened hitchhiker handed over a billfold, and John drove off. When he arrived home, he started to tell his wife about the experience, but she interrupted him, saying, “Before I forget, John, do you know that you left your wallet at home this morning?”

It’s human nature to jump to conclusions about others we perceive to be different than us. That’s because evil has been characterized in our culture with a “this and not that” mentality. For most, evil is what happens when a terrorist attacks a crowded building, but it’s not what happens when a clean-cut employee gossips about a coworker. Yet the Bible says that both are evil.

As Christians, we must come to recognize evil wherever it is. Yes, we have to see it in ruthless killings of others. But we must also learn to perceive it in our own lives as well as those around us.

Evil is evil, no matter what flavor it is. So pray that God would give you wisdom to discern what’s right and what’s wrong, and strive each day to overcome evil with good!

Prayer Challenge

Pray for discernment when it comes to recognizing evil in your daily life and strength to overcome it.

Questions for Thought

What are some pictures that come to mind when you hear the word evil? How have we been conditioned to think that way?

How can recognizing evil in all its forms help us to overcome it?

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