Daily Dose, April 26 — My Brother’s Keeper

  Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ No, ‘if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21) I love to root for the good guys! Sure, villains can be really interesting in movies, but at the end of the day, I always want to the good guy to win. I grew up on the “Star Wars” franchise, and I always root for the Rebellion because they represent the light, the good, the noble, the well-intentioned. One of the most memorable moments in the most recent installment of the franchise comes when the antagonist, Kylo Ren, experiences what we think is a crisis of conscience. We think that we are seeing a change in him, a change where he will perhaps turn his back on the dark and oppressive Galactic Empire and choose the better way. We WANT to see evil overcome by good! But in the movie, it just doesn’t happen. When the power of Christ is alive and well in us, we really do have the power to overcome evil with good. We have power that can be exhibited in large and small ways. We have a power to bring peace into people’s lives. We have a power that even overcame death itself! We have a power to tell evil, “NO!” And we have power to encourage others to do the same. As our brother’s keeper(s), we have a responsibility for the whole person. We should care if people are hungry, thirsty, without clothing, without shelter -- and we should try to care for these most fundamental of human needs. But we also should have an eye to the soul of our brother and sister. In the way that we live alongside them, are we turning their inner selves to the fruits of the Spirit? Are we encouraging them -- and even exhorting them -- to take on the traits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? When the power of Christ is alive and well in us, we have the power to impact that sort of change in people’s lives. -- Rev. Brad Greene