Famed philosopher and orator Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It’s true. Doing nothing is easy, but it’s also dangerous. Where there is no opposition to evil, evil will multiply.
We all fall into the trap of complaining about the things that are wrong. But complaining does nothing except discourage us even more. It changes nothing because there is no positive power in it.
Imagine what a mess the world would be if all God did was complain about everything that has gone wrong since He created it. But the Father doesn’t complain. He continues to be good and work for justice. Evil is powerful, but good is more powerful.
We need to stop and realize that God has chosen to work on this earth through His children—you and me.
It’s humbling to realize that He could do so much more if we would be committed to love and do good at all times. We need to remember Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 5:16, “ ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven’ ” (NKJV).
The more we respond to evil with evil, the more it increases. I am reminded of a movie titled El Cid, the story of the man who united Spain and became a great hero using the principle I’m talking about.
For centuries the Christians had fought the Moors. They hated and killed each other. In battle, El Cid captured five Moors but refused to kill them because he realized that killing had never done any good. He believed that showing mercy to his enemies would change their hearts, and then both groups could live in peace.
Although he was initially labeled a traitor for his actions, they eventually proved to work, and he was honored as a hero.
One of the Moors he captured said, “Anyone can kill, but only a true king can show mercy to his enemies.” Because of El Cid’s one act of kindness, his enemies offered themselves to him as friends and allies from that point on.
Jesus is a true king, and He is good, kind and merciful to all. Can we do any less than follow His example?
Right now, can you think of anyone to whom you could show mercy? Is there someone who has treated you wrongly that you can be good to? Being merciful and good, especially to your enemies, may be one of the most powerful things you have ever done.
Imagine how different the world would be if each one of us who claims to know Christ would do one kind thing for someone else every day. The results would be astonishing. The world would change rapidly because we really could overcome evil with good if we all made a commitment to live the way Jesus tells us to live.
I have three friends with whom I sometimes go to lunch or have coffee.We often talk about things God has put on our hearts to do for others, or creative ideas for fresh ways to be a blessing. I believe conversations like this are very pleasing to God.
I would like to challenge you to take a lead role in the “love revolution.” Enlist people you know and invite them to a planning session on practical ways to meet needs. Find someone who needs help and make a group effort to help them.
The idea of encouraging others to be aggressive in doing good works is not new. Hebrews 10:24 says, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.”
We should actually study and think about how we can stir others to do good works and loving, helpful deeds. And remember, doing the right thing will require forming new habits and developing aggressive acts of love. The results will be wonderful!
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries. She has authored more than 80 books, including The Love Revolution (Hachette), from which this article is adapted. She hosts Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. To read past columns in Charisma by Joyce Meyer, go to charismamag.com/meyer.
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