And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. Luke 6:33
“Don’t hate evil more than you love good.”
I read those words in a Facebook post a few days after the Dallas shootings. A police officer had posted a heartwarming story of a woman and her little boy who approached him to thank him for his service and pray for his safety. He shared how the kind gesture had touched him deeply and ended his post with this advice.
Don’t hate evil more than you love good.
The statement is simple, yet profound. Perhaps you should take a moment to contemplate it.
Most of us would readily agree that we hate evil. We see its handiwork unfolding before us, getting much nearer than we ever anticipated it could. And far too many have personally felt the agony of its reach.
And we stand appalled, as we should.
We hate evil.
But hating evil does nothing to stop its movement. The real problem—the reason evil’s reach continues to expand— is that the people of God haven’t embraced loving good.
Don’t get me wrong. We like the idea of good. And we certainly like to think of ourselves as good people. But we rarely take the opportunity to release some good into someone else’s life.
We may think about it, but we don’t often do it.
Hear my heart, beloved. A great chasm exists between hating evil and loving good, and if we‘re honest, we’d have to admit that most of us dwell there.
It has a name.
And when we float along in the sea of complacency, nothing changes. Evil continues to harm.
Yet we’ve convinced ourselves that we’re doing our part, because we hate evil. So we voice our outrage. We join the ranks of those casting blame. We shake our heads in disgust at those who do violence. We accuse.
But that’s all we do. And our anger over the evil we hate only swells its tide, feeding its wrath and giving it strength.
Because hatred itself was born out of evil.
Beloved, only something contrary to its nature can overcome it. If we want to see evil defeated, you and I need to embrace God’s command in Romans 12:21.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Only good holds the power to stop evil, dear one. Simply hating evil won’t overcome it. Evil will suffer defeat when God’s children begin to take on His nature and express His goodness. We must learn to love good more than we hate evil.
How? By giving of ourselves.
By taking time to stop and pray with someone in the middle of our busy day instead of simply saying we will. Or blessing a stranger by paying for their meal in a restaurant or offering help when we see them struggle. We love good when we send an encouragement to a hurting neighbor or make them a hot meal.
Goodness—the nature and character of God—released into the world around us will begin to diminish the enemy’s power at work in our midst. We overcome evil with good.
Perhaps that’s why Jesus said in Matthew 7:19,
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Failing to produce good fruit is useless. Anything else only feeds evil. Expressing love is our answer. Giving of ourselves even when it’s not comfortable. Because love is never about what we say, it’s always about what we do.
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:18
This generation cries out for hope. People long to know and believe that the evil rising in our midst won’t win. You and I hold the means to prove it. The Spirit of God who only gives good gifts (James 1:17) dwells within us. Let’s let Him loose!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Galatians 5:22-23
Beloved, the tide of evil will only diminish when we begin to love good more than we hate evil. When our actions—not just our thoughts—begin to release goodness and love into the world.
I’m game. Are you?