The evil of Manchester bombing can’t overcome us

Written by Miles McPherson

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

After an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, UK, a suicide bomber detonated a homemade bomb, tragically killing 22 innocent people. As I heard the news, I kept reciting that verse from Romans 12:21 over and over in my head. My mind struggled to stretch enough to wrap itself around the reality of such a brutal act.

I’m deeply sad. I can’t imagine the pain of the families of the impacted, who were just attending a concert. To have their children, grandchildren, brothers or sisters taken from them with no warning or cause—it’s heartbreaking.

And then there’s the suicide bomber. A radical extremist, poisoned with hatred, and left this world at the age of 22 blown to pieces. Ripped off in life, and ripped off in death.

But that’s what the devil wants to do—rip us off. The two greatest commandments in the Bible are to love God and love our neighbor—meaning other people—and Satan’s number one purpose is to keep us from doing those two things. If he can, he’ll rob us of the fullest and most glorious expression of our existence: right relationships with God and our neighbors.

There is zero doubt in my heart and mind that violence, hatred, and racism are just a few of the tools by which Satan rips us off. If and when we engage with any of the above, we’re getting pennies on the dollar in life.

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Look around yourself, and you will no doubt find evil speaking, breaking into even the most innocent places. At every turn it’s trying to whitewash, cheapen, depreciate, and devalue the true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and good things God made.

And sometimes we feel like it’s okay drop our heads and carry on with our lives. We succumb to entropy, becoming passive and lethargic—even Christians. But that’s not what God created us for! We were made with the purpose of living radically counter-cultural lives, warring day and night against the power of evil in the world.

And in that war, we cannot taste defeat so long as we wield the power of good.

Christians are the foot soldiers of good, trained and instructed by God to “resist an evil person” (Matthew 5:39), but not by retaliating in kind like the world does. We, by contrast, are charged with aggressively seeking evil out in all its forms, and punching it in the mouth—meeting it with good.

In the face of gossip, lies, and slander, we speak truth. In the face of bullying and abuse, we protect and sacrifice. In the face of theft, we give. In the face of manipulation, we serve, and in the face of hatred, we love.

The next time you experience evil, please snuff it out. Asphyxiate it with good. Who knows but that have been appointed and destined for such a time as this?

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

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