You can’t really stop evil people from carrying out their evil deeds.
But you can overcome evil by doing the good, God-glorifying work that
Christ has called you to do.
In the face of evil I
must remember I was created for good. In a passage where Paul tells his
readers to bless those who curse us, not to repay evil with evil, and
to live in peace and harmony with others as much as we can, he ends the
paragraph with this sentence: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome
evil with good” (Romans 12:21). Overcoming evil with good starts with
treating people in a God-honoring way. It means recognizing my inherent
worth and the worth of my neighbor, no matter what the world may tell
has so many needs, it is easy to become overwhelmed and think that what I
do will not make a lasting impact. This may be because I see myself as
too insignificant to make a difference. But my significance is not the
issue. God has work prepared in advance for me to accomplish. As
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ
Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk
in them.” God has prepared good works for me to accomplish in my
lifetime. That doesn’t mean the task will be easy, but it does mean God
will strengthen me to do what he calls me to do.
3. Start Small
Intellectually, I know the world needs the
light of good works to shine and I know that God will equip me. My heart
resonates with the old saying, “It is better to light a candle than to
curse the darkness.” But I often struggle with where to begin
practically. This is often because I start thinking of all the
“important” ways I’d like to participate in doing good: helping with
refugee placement at a local nonprofit in my area, offering childcare at
a local women’s shelter, or volunteering with an organization that
helps women who have been s*x trafficked.
Perhaps my idea of good
works is too large right now. It’s true, doing good could look like
adopting a child, providing foster care, or heading up a non-profit. But
right now as a mom to four – including a toddler – my capacity to
participate in the ways I dream of is not really an option for me in
this season of life. So I need to start small.
4. Start at Church
church. In the same passage where Paul tells us to overcome evil with
good he also instructs, “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.
Practice hospitality (Romans 12:13).” Does someone need a meal, a ride,
or prayer? Is someone having surgery and need emotional support? Does
someone have financial needs? Does your church already volunteer in the
community? You may be surprised how much you’re needed in your own
5. Start Local
We’ve been told to “think global, act local.” I
can’t think of a better way think about combating evil than where it
exists in my own town or city. I might not be able to solve the refugee
crises but I can help refugee organizations in our own country. I might
not be able to adopt but I can sponsor a child in poverty to give them
an educational advantage. I might not be able to mentor victims of s*x
trafficking right now, but I’m doing what I can where I am right now,
· Donating baby items to the local women’s shelter instead of trying to sell them.
· Gathering supplies from members in my church to donate to the housing needs of refugees.
· Sponsoring a child through an organization that will see to his medical and educational needs.
· Gifting a Thanksgiving basket of food supplies to the organization that helps victims of sex trafficking.
to make ethical purchases that empower women’s businesses around the
world that will help break cycles of poverty and abuse.
6. Don’t Let the Light Go Out
actions seem really small to me right now. And the desire to do more
still stirs in my soul. But when I focus on shining the light and life
of God’s goodness and grace into the darkness and death I see around me,
I discover I’m no longer scared of it. I pray even my smallest actions
will produce a legacy of love and light that pushes against the dark.
I have lit my candle. It will not go out.
[written by Danielle Ayers Jones]