Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21(NIV)
The world says you fight fire with fire. The ancient code of Hammurabi dictated “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”. So did the law of Moses. But when God personally present in his Son Jesus Christ came to us in the flesh, he revealed his own law, code, and way concerning life, relationships and conduct. Here is what he says – “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:38-42. (NIV)
In essence Jesus is saying God’s way is we do not react and respond to evil with evil, we do not resist and fight evil with evil. Rather we overcome evil with good. Our victory over evil is staying and continuing to do good at all times. Jesus explains further when he says the ancients said love your neighbor, hate your enemy. But I tell you love your enemies and pray for your persecutors. Matthew 5:43, 44.
Actually no one needs to be commanded this because it comes naturally with all people. Almost everyone naturally loves those who are close to them and naturally hate their enemy. But as children of God, we have in us his love nature. Romans 5:5. Just as He is good and does good to all people whether nice or not so nice, we ought to be good and do good to everyone whether they are neighborly or enemies. Matthew 5:45-48.
We ought to love those who hate us, pray for those who fight against us. We should be kind to the rude. We should be gracious and generous to those who are mean, benevolent to the ungrateful, patient with the impatient, forgiving the unforgiving. This is how as the salt of the earth we season wherever we are. This is how as the light of the world we light up wherever we go.