Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.
On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
So many times in my life, I've been hurt by mean-spirited people. They are intent on hurting those around them. I'm sure many of you can say the same. There have been times when we are a target because we are trying to live out our faith and often that goes against the grain.
The human reaction when someone hurts us is to protect ourselves. We are either inclined to defend ourselves by gossiping about them, repay their unkindness with an equally unkind reaction, or to give them the cold shoulder.
Yet, this passage in Romans tells us to do the opposite. We are to do the unthinkable: repay evil with good. Be kind when others are unkind. Be at peace with those who are not easy to deal with. Reach out to them in love. When we do this, we are shining our light in the midst of a dark world.
If you are facing a situation where you are being harassed by others for your faith, then it is your responsibility to show them what the love of God looks like. It is a difficult thing to do. Yet, when we do this we may be the very person who shows them what a Christian truly is.
I love the last verse. It is so easy to feel overcome and discouraged when we are in the midst of this situation. We can feel defeated and depressed. Yet, Paul is telling us not to be overwhelmed by the evil around us. We are to chip away at the evil in the world by our good deeds.
So be encouraged today. Overcome the evil around you and point others to Christ through your kindness and peaceable nature.