Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21
“Conquer your enemies with kindness, preserve your friends by prudence, deserve the esteem of all by goodness.”
L. Carroll Judson in Day’s Collacon, compiled and arranged by Edward Parsons Day (New York: IPPO, 1884) 226.
If you like short meditations that take a long time, perhaps even a lifetime to grasp, then try to lean into this one. There are three distinct layers to it.
Each layer points the opposite direction of human tendency. We try to conquer our enemies. We take their friends for granted, and we demand respect by view of our earned rank.
What if we did the opposite? We would overcome evil and conquer enemies with good. We would nurture friendships with care, and greatness would link to humble service.
Notice the combination: kindness, prudence, and goodness. Goodness, of course is a synonym for generosity. It’s as if this post sums up our exploration over the past two weeks.
With prudence, or in modern terms, with intentional care, let us extend kindness and generosity to all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In so doing we will build bridges with enemies, strengthen bonds with friends, and any esteem that returns to us will glorify God who empowers our service and fuels our giving.
Today I fly to Indianapolis to speak at Gathering First Fruits: National Summit on the Economics of Ministry tomorrow. I’d appreciate your prayers for strength, safe travel, and Spirit-filled service. Thank you.Read more