Overcome evil with good
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good—Romans 12:21 (NASB).
How else can we cast out evil? Satan cannot cast out Satan. No one can clean a room with a filthy duster. The surgeon cannot cut out the disease if his instruments are defiled. While he removed one ill-growth he would sow the seed of another. It must be health which fights disease. It will demand a good temper to overcome the bad temper in my brother.
And therefore I must cultivate a virtue if I would eradicate a vice. That applies to the state of my own soul. If there be some immoral habit in my life, the best way to destroy it is by cultivating a good one. Take the mind away from the evil one. Deprive it of thought-food. Give the thought to the nobler mood, and the ignoble mood will die. And this also applies to the faults and vices of my brother. I must fight them with their opposites. If he is harsh and cruel, I must be considerate and gentle. If he is grasping, I must be generous. If he is loud and presumptuous, I must be soft-mannered and self-restrained. If he is devilish, I must be a Christian. This is the warfare which tells upon the empire of sin. I can overcome evil with good.
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About the author and the source
John Henry Jowett (1864–1923) a famed pastor and author, served congregations in both England and the United States. He believed the gospel was the only hope for our times. Crime dropped remarkably when he pastored in Birmingham, England.
John Henry Jowett. My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year. New York, Chicago: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1914.