Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good

The answer is probably, 'Quite a bit, but what for this time?'

And the answer is that on a day when Rolf Harris is found guilty of sexual offences against girls it appears that others are coming forward to add to the allegations as Harris, like Savile, crashes and burns and, quite rightly, is brought down.

But what confuses me is a conversation on a radio programme where an 'expert' from some group was talking about the fact that compensation was the key to many of those abused 'finding their healing' - a comment that stopped me in my tracks and brought my full attention to what was being said (it was almost background noise until then).

The speaker continued along the lines that it was act of stripping the abuser of their money and possessions and possessing what had been theirs that brought 'healing' for many. It's not just about justice, it's about 'getting your own back'.

A small voice in the back of my mind reminded me of Romans 12 (17-end):

'Never pay back evil with more evil. 
Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honourable. 
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. 
For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD. 

If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. 
In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.

Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.'

Years back I encountered many who had been abused (and a few who had been abusers) and saw them come to a place of wholeness and healing through the power of God's love. What I saw during that period was that those who sought revenge and harboured bitterness, malice and a desire to inflict pain were brought down by various afflictions in body, mind and spirit. Those who found a place of forgiveness and peace within themselves were the complete opposite, they flourished and grew. Not theory but true, empirical, evidence of the mechanisms that bring healing.

I guess what we are seeing is the fruits of our emerging post-Christian society. A society where (Micah 6) justice and mercy are put aside for revenge and malice (but don't think these two awful traits are not found in Christians or that I'm knocking those who are not Christian. I could take you to the homes of many in the town I inhabit who have these traits sharpened, honed and perfected ;-(  ).

Once more it all comes down to the fact that we always have a choice in the way that we think and behave.

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