From: Rich Carlson
Date: September 7, 2020
Subject: It's September 7; Good Morning Union

“Do not be overcome with evil…”      Romans 12:21

I ended last week with my choice of “The Other 27 Fundamental Doctrines” being the last one, “Do not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good.” It stayed with me all weekend long and because it’s still in my heart and in my mind, especially being recalled in my quiet time with God, I’m afraid you’re going to have to endure one more day in this chapter.

“Do not be overcome with evil.” Easy to say; hard to do! Especially in our culture right now that, for various reasons, seems to be bombarding us with evil. Some of it I can understand because of the stress COVID has added to life, and some of it I can only explain because of the sinfulness of this world. Killings, wars, protests, hate reflected in a myriad of ways; it can ALMOST be overwhelming.

In terms of psychology we might call what our response had been, “fight or flight.” From a leadership model it might be called, “reacting vs responding.” From a spiritual model I would suggest that, because God’s ways are way above my ways, and my goal is to be like Him, that I need to think bigger than secular models and search for a spiritual model that I might follow so I don’t get sucked in or consumed by the junk in this world.

How about this? It’s not “fight or flight,” but maybe “OR fall on the Father and follow His focus?” And that’s where my thoughts went this morning as I was reflecting on my text. WHAT IF, instead of being overcome by the evil in this world, I responded with good rather than fighting it or fleeing from it. Paul suggests that either the evil will overcome me, OR I can overcome the evil-- WITH GOOD.

So what good can I respond with when I am confronted with the evil in this world? My first thoughts went to Jesus’ “turn the other cheek… go the extra mile… love your enemies… pray for those who hurt you… forgive one another…….” WHAT IF I trained myself to respond with goodness rather than hate, with love rather than anger, with forgiveness rather than bitterness? WHAT IF…? The Bible says with this approach I can overcome the world. And even if I don’t quite “overcome” all of the world, because that really can’t fully happen until Jesus comes, then at least I have given it my best shot and my life can be more content and fulfilled.

Have a great day responding to life better than the world is currently doing,

Pastor Rich

Quote for the day:      “Hurt people hurt people.”