In his great letter to the church in Rome, Paul gave the Romans and us many exhortations. In this exhortation, there is a negative and a positive. Do not be overcome by evil. The great black scientist, George Washington Carver, once said, “I will never let another man ruin my life by making me hate him.” George Washington Carver was a believer and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, this exhortation goes further than the negative, but overcome evil with good, which is a positive. The Christian is to not only commanded to not be overcome by evil but to overcome evil with good.Romans 12:21. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
I have worked at the bedside, as a Registered Nurse, for over twenty-three years now. Patients, family and medical staff will say the most hurtful things you can imagine, but the Christian nurse is to always overcome evil with good. No matter how much I have done, no matter how hard I have worked, no matter how much I have cared over the years; people are just not satisfied, and are angry when in the hospital.
Does this mean that by doing good to those who treat you badly that the other person will repent and treat you with honor? I have found that most of the time they will not. In fact, it appears that most of the time people will not even notice the good that you are doing for them. Most of the time people will not even notice that you did not return their anger with anger, or their hurtful words with hurtful words. Most of the time people will not notice that you returned their anger and hurtful words with kindness. No matter, the Christian nurse is called to image God in the world.Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also...But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Mt 5:38-39 & 44-45)