Be not overcome of evil - Do not, by giving place to evil, become precisely the same character which thou condemnest in another. Overcome evil with good - however frequently he may grieve and injure thee, always repay him with kindness; thy good-will, in the end, may overcome his evil.
Be not overcome of evil - Be not “vanquished” or “subdued” by injury received from others. Do not suffer your temper to be excited; your Christian principles to be abandoned; your mild, amiable, kind, and benevolent temper to be ruffled by any opposition or injury which you may experience. Maintain your Christian principles amidst all opposition, and thus show the power of the gospel. They are overcome by evil who suffer their temper to be excited, who become enraged and revengeful and who engage in contention with those who injure them; Proverbs 16:22.
But overcome evil with good - That is, subdue or vanquish evil by doing good to others. Show them the loveliness of a better spirit; the power of kindness and benevolence; the value of an amiable, Christian deportment. So doing, you may disarm them of their rage, and be the means of bringing them to better minds.
This is the noble and grand sentiment of the Christian religion. Nothing like this is to be found in the pagan classics; and nothing like it ever existed among pagan nations. Christianity alone has brought forth this lovely and mighty principle; and one design of it is to advance the welfare of man by promoting peace, harmony, and love. The idea of “overcoming evil with good” never occurred to people until the gospel was preached. It never has been acted on except under the influences of the gospel. On this principle God shows kindness; on this principle the Saviour came, and bled, and died; and on this principle all Christians should act in treating their enemies, and in bringing a world to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus. If Christians will show benevolence, if they will send forth proofs of love to the ends of the earth, the evils of the world will be overcome. Nor can the nations be converted until Christians act on this great and most important principle of their religion, “on the largest scale possible,” to “overcome evil with good.”
There is a science in dealing with those who seem especially weak. If we would teach others, we ourselves must first learn of Christ. We need broad views, that we may do true medical missionary work, and show tact in dealing with minds. MM 209.1
Those who are really the least in need of help are likely to receive the most of our attention. But we need to show special wisdom in dealing with those who seem inconsiderate and thoughtless. Some do not comprehend the sacredness of the work of God. Those of the least ability, the thoughtless, and even the indolent, especially demand careful, prayerful consideration. We must exercise tact in dealing with those who seem to be ignorant and out of the way. By persevering effort in their behalf, we must help them to become useful in the Lord's work. They will respond readily to a patient, tender, loving interest. MM 209.2
We are to cooperate with the Lord Jesus in restoring the inefficient and the erring to intelligence and purity. This work ranks equally in importance with the work of the gospel ministry. We are called upon by God to manifest an untiring, patient interest in the salvation of those who need divine polishing.—Letter 113, 1905. MM 209.3Read in context »
If impatient words are spoken to you, never reply in the same spirit. Remember that “a soft answer turneth away wrath.” Proverbs 15:1. And there is wonderful power in silence. Words spoken in reply to one who is angry sometimes serve only to exasperate. But anger met with silence, in a tender, forbearing spirit, quickly dies away. MH 486.1
Under a storm of stinging, faultfinding words, keep the mind stayed upon the word of God. Let mind and heart be stored with God's promises. If you are ill-treated or wrongfully accused, instead of returning an angry answer, repeat to yourself the precious promises: MH 486.2
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21. MH 486.3Read in context »
Counsel to a Woman Literature Evangelist—I have received two letters from you, and have a desire to relieve your mind if I can. Your position was a very remarkable one, and God gave me a decided message for you. I did not consider from the facts presented that your case was without hope; but your perception of what constituted right and wrong was so low in the scale that it was entirely unsafe for you to be traveling and be canvassing and giving Bible readings, and be exposed to temptations. [You are] one who could not distinguish in the Word of God what sin is, in giving your body to be polluted by a man, whatever may be his profession, and claim to be relieved [forgiven]. This matter was shown to me to be a heinous sin in the sight of God, and yet your senses were so benumbed and demoralized that you would continue to canvass for our religious books and give Bible readings, and you committing fornication. TSB 163.1
Reproof From God—The law of God proclaimed upon Mount Sinai, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” and yet you who transgressed that law in so marked a manner were teaching others the Bible. God did not accept your labors. You ask if the Lord gave me that letter to give to you. I say He did. The holy God of Israel will not serve with your sins. That message was given of God. If you have had, since that message was given, a new sense of what constitutes sin, if you have become truly converted, a child of God in place of being a transgressor of His law, there is no one who will be more pleased than myself. I could not present your sin before you in too strong language. TSB 163.2Read in context »