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Overcome Evil With Good

Brian Henman (Wilsonton Uniting Church)

The word payback may be used in more than one way. If we have loaned a person a sum of money payback is welcome when that person comes to return the money that was loaned. Perhaps we know the saying, one good turn deserves another. However payback is serious when a hurt or offended person wants to “settle the score,” as the saying goes. Payback is a dangerous issue in some cultures when the offence leads to tribal or group conflict, often resulting in many deaths and ongoing unresolved tension and suspicion. In the Old Testament of the Bible we read of an “eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” According to some bible scholars this was progress from all out tribal conflict as it limited revenge or payback. The apostle Paul wrote of a Christlike way to live in Romans Chapter 12. “If someone has done you wrong, do not repay him with a wrong. If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty give him a drink. Do not let evil defeat you; overcome evil with good.”

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