Be not overcome of evil...Bro. David Chancellor
4/14/2002 11:00 AM
1 Peter 4:3-4
There are things to face and go through as we serve God. We used to live as verse 3 describes. When we found God and changed, the world may now speak evil of us. Our mission in life as a child of God is not to be a nonconformist. God did not intend, though, that we be like the world. He would have us do what is right. Our goal should be to do right. We may encounter people who speak evil. They are always looking for the evil, quick to notice it and speak out against it. We aren't out to find the bad in people, but to see the good that is there and the good that God can do for the soul.
People in the world don't only speak evil of those who are trying to do good, but of anyone and of anything. Christ contended with the devil, but he didn't speak a "railing accusation". This tells us how to speak to the devil and those that would come against us. As Christians we shouldn't point out the flaws, speak evil of people, etc. to say a thing is bad. We aren't able to qualify a person's motivation. We should take the example of Christ. He came to see people delivered from the life of sin. We aren't here to find people's flaws and to pick them apart.
As a matter of principle, we should be law abiding citizens (where it does not conflict with the will of God). Speak evil of no man. Even if someone is misled, misguided or the worst sinner in town, we aren't to speak evil of him. Be gentle. Show meekness to all. We were in that boat at one point. If we've been those things, why would we speak evil of those who are in it? If it wasn't for God, we'd still be there. Have we figured out our own flaws? Are we trying to lift ourselves up by putting others down?
Let God lift you up, rather than lifting yourself up by stepping on or pulling down others. If we will humble ourselves before God, he can lift us up. Don't speak evil of those serving God. If I look on someone that God accepts and speak evil of them, what am I saying about God? Some things need to be left with God. If you are speaking evil, you are out of order. Let God figure out who is and who isn't his. This doesn't make excuse for sin. The world is going a way that we cannot go. They will hate us. Our challenge is to win over those that hate us. We don't look to the world for acceptance. Don't speak evil. Don't get caught up in politics.
This portrays the change that should take place. Malice is the root of all those things mentioned in verse 31. If someone does something against you, forgive. God forgave us. We are to be the same way. We are to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving. Tenderhearted is being able to grasp the feeling of others. Be careful not to speak evil of others. Dredging up the past is evil speaking. Some stories are better off not being spread.
"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." If others speak evil of you, don't speak evil back. Returning good for evil requires the grace of God.