Rom 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (KJV)
Rom 12:21 Do not let evil overcome you, but overcome evil by good. (Basic English Bible)
Rom 12:21 Do not let evil defeat you; instead, conquer evil with good. (GNB, Good News Bible)
Rom 12:21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil with good. (GW, God’s Word translation)
Rom 12:21 Don’t let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good. (CEV, Contemporary English Version)
Rom 12:21 Stop being conquered by evil, but keep on conquering evil with good. (Williams NT)
Romans 12:21 ought to be our “marching orders” in terms of telling us what to do to solve the problems we encounter in this world.
There is no room for a defeatist attitude here!
There is something each of us can do from right where we are.
We can pray for individuals and situations we are aware of that God’s will be done in the lives and circumstances others find themselves in.
We can be an example to others by doing the best we can do with whatever task is before us.
Our lives should be a light to others in the otherwise surrounding darkness. If we live lives of holiness (Hebrews 12:14) as we ought, others will often notice that in some way we seem to be different. They may ask what makes us different, and that may create an open door of opportunity to share a bit of our testimony regarding our faith in Christ.
It was always my stance as a teacher in public school not to endeavor to convert my students to faith in Christ. Even when I was asked to sponsor the Bible Discussion Club I never had an “altar call” at the conclusion of a meeting. One of my own English 6 students who attended the Bible Discussion Club for a time stopped coming, and told me she was disappointed that I did not invite the students who attended to pray then and there to accept Christ. I told her that many students were making decisions for Christ and trusting Him for salvation in response to the discussions all on their own with no special urging from me.
I did not direct those discussions. I simply let the students ask Bible questions. They answered the questions among themselves, or turned to me for answers when none of them had an answer. Sometimes I had to admit I did not know the answer either, but would do some research to try to figure it out. That led to my purchase of a number of scholarly works about the Bible–an expensive habit, but a blessed one because it helped students have solid answers to their questions.
Students asked me to teach them about witnessing to others and to share with them how to lead others to faith in Christ. I did just that, and the students pooled their allowances or other money they could spare to purchase New Testaments to share with those who they now were winning to Christ. They had more students receiving Christ than they could afford to furnish New Testaments to.
The first days of a new semester, two students separately and unknown to each other in the same class asked me why I was so different from the other teachers they had. I told one of them that I belonged to Christ and have faith in Him and care for every student as though they were the most valuable person in the world, for that is what Jesus said they were–more valuable than the whole world (Matthew 16:26. Mark 8:36. Luke 9:25). The other student wrote in her first composition, “I need help fast.” I let her know that she could write and tell me more if she wished, and she did. Both students came to a profound faith in Christ. At parent teacher conference time, the mother of one of the students told me I was a greater help to her daughter than the professional counseling they had been providing for her.
During that following summer the mother asked me to share with her the Bible verses I had shared with her daughter. They had a large family Bible, and I wrote out the references on slips of paper from a small tablet the mother had handy and placed them as bookmarks in the Bible so she could find the verses again. The daughter called me a few days later and said, “Mr. Smith, I don’t know what you did for my mother, but she can’t stop reading the Bible now!” She also called me again to tell me that after she had been reading the Bible I gave her she had come to personal faith in Christ, and had just knelt in prayer in the home where she was babysitting to ask Christ into her life. The other student asked in a composition what she should do in her very difficult situation. I recommended that she read the New Testament. She began reading her mother’s Bible but the mother took it away. I obtained a New Testament that she could keep in her purse. She wrote that by reading the New Testament she came to personal faith in Christ, and thanked me for helping make that possible.
I mention these examples to illustrate that each of us, no matter who or where we are, can have a vital impact in the lives of others the Lord brings across our path.
The key is to care.
How do we demonstrate we care?
Be a good listener.