"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
This is great advice from God. Amazingly hard sometimes, but I think it changes the world... and ourselves... when we can do this. Sometimes it's like we're wearing blinders and we can only see one perspective. Someone says something snarky or downright mean to us, or something political, tempting us to jump into the political quagmire at school or work, or within our families, and that's all we can see. And even though we don't really like swimming in the quagmire, since it's all oily and icky and gross... we do it anyway, and we get in there and mudwrestle until we think we've made our point. Unfortunately, at that point, we're just as dirty as the next guy, and almost never have we accomplished anything except the expectation of another fight in the future. Here, God tells us basically not to jump in at all. Four verses before this he says "Recompense to no man evil for evil," and here he tells us the alternative. Instead of returning evil for evil, we can overcome evil with good. And it turns out so much better that way. Think about times when we've complained about something and instead of having a complaining session, someone has diverted it with a joke, or a positive comment about the same thing... helping us to see a different way of looking at it, or offering another, funnier thing to talk about. We can choose to take off those blinders and see another way. If there is a way to solve it, then we can choose that... and if there isn't, then we can accept God's will and try to learn something from the situation, even when it is just patience or how to see past whatever we're obsessing over. We can be kind in the face of cruelty, and we can be hopeful in the face of despair. Today, let's avoid the quagmire... and where possible, help other people see a less smelly and muddy way as well. :)