Day 8

Do No Evil

from the 1 & 2 Peter reading plan


1 Peter 3:8-22, John 15:18-21, Galatians 3:23-29

BY Erin Davis

The year was 1967. Crowds had gathered outside the Pentagon to protest the ongoing Vietnam War. Members of the 503rd Military Police Battalion formed a semi-circle and pointed their rifles toward the protestors. It was a tense moment, in a tense era, in a tense world.

But then hope seemed to break right through the moment, as a young man stepped forward to place carnations inside the officers’ barrels. American photographer, Bernie Boston, captured the moment in a shot entitled, “Flower Power.” The photograph moved the nation so profoundly, it earned Boston a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize, and the ethos of an entire generation was captured and preserved.

Whatever your political beliefs, as Christ’s followers, we’ve been given clear marching orders to protest the evil so prevalent in our world. We don’t fight with rebel fists, clenched in rage. Our assignment is to do good, to combat evil with righteousness, darkness with light, lies with truth, hatred with love.

Though it sounds warm and fuzzy, we cannot expect the world to respond to us with heart eyes. Jesus Himself warned us that they would instead take up arms against us.

“If the world hates you, understand that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you are not of the world,
but I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you” (John 15:18–19).

This battle is not new. There is no bait and switch. Jesus is clear: we will offer love and receive something else in return. Our good deeds may fall on deaf ears, or worse, turn others against us. Knowing this to be true from his own experience, Peter sought to encourage believers who faced suffering for the sake of the gospel. He told them, “It is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:17).

Because of Christ, we are free to face such reactions from the world without the element of surprise. As in all things, Christ goes before us. He absorbed insults for His wisdom, betrayal for His faithfulness, and lashings for His love. Because of Him, we can bless when we are cursed, do good when others seek to harm us, and love when we are hated. We stand ready with hope, in a dark world that needs hope so desperately.

May we follow the example of our humble Savior, Church. May our hope in Jesus prepare our hearts for the battles we may face because of our love for Him. Let the world hurl their worst in our direction. Because of Jesus, we stand ready, eager to see hope break through.

But in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. Yet do this with
gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15–16).

Post Comments (38)

38 thoughts on "Do No Evil"

  1. Karen says:

    Jennifer,
    Thank you for sharing your story. You have experienced so many things that have caused hurt and anger to build. But I saw the fact that you persevered through the trials, that you clung to Jesus and never lost faith. I saw a woman who went to many lengths to further her education and open new doors. I pray that God will calm your fears and anger and will give you a new vision for your future. He is with you and loving you through it all. You also have this wonderful and supportive group of women in these SRT Bible studies to support and encourage you. Peace be with you!

  2. ROBIN J DAUGHERTY says:

    Jennifer,
    I am praying for you. I can feel your hurt and sorrow. Reach for God and he will fill the dark places with light. Don’t give up hope for the things you want in life. “And hope does not disappoint us because of the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us” Romans 5:5 and “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure”. Hebrews 6:19. God loves you and has a wonderful plan.

  3. Steph C says:

    “Our assignment is to do good, to combat evil with righteousness, darkness with light, lies with truth, hatred with love”. Reminds me of the MLK quote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that”. We can’t defeat hatred with hatred. We have to respond with love. Loving those who hate or mock us shows Christ’s love to them. We are called to be light. To make a difference. To attract others to our great God.

    1. Kim Anstaett says:

      Yes, that is one of my favorite MLK quotes!

  4. Churchmouse says:

    It’s harder to take offense when you know persecution is to be expected. We will be misunderstood. We will have opposition. We will be minimized. We will be ridiculed. This is the ‘norm’ for the Christian. But we also have a glorious Hope. We stand firm in our faith. We speak the truth in love. We pray “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

    1. Jennifer Wilson says:

      Perfectly stated! ❤️

    2. Jennifer Anapol says:

      Thank you for describing this truth so beautifully!

  5. Sharon W says:

    Loved Galatians 3:28 I have read so many times, however today v29 answered a question I was wondering about for some time. “

  6. Amanda MarieO'Malley says:

    We are not of this world!! And the world doesn’t love us because we are not there own!! But me belong to a much better family the family of Christ

  7. Jennifer Jones says:

    I wake up every Monday angry despite having a great Sunday. It is something different every Monday ..then I set out with an attack plan in my head….and then just end up angry. I never say or do anything I just want to…I have the world’s biggest student loan because I agreed to go to a university that my then husband was stationed near.. This was in 1993. While I was going there UMHB, he met someone else on a deployment. I was branded, the divorced girl. But I held to my faith and stayed on. I ended up living in the dorms because at registration, rolled up my sleeves and couldn’t stop crying. This was the beginning of my Jr year. My own GI Bill only paid a small portion so I applied for student loans. I am 49 now and this was when I was in my early 20’s. I could no longer wear glasses to cover my red cry g eyes. I knew I was not being loved. I waited. I prayed. I thought marriage would not be like my mother’s, which was also abusive. But I was wrong. I have never remarried and didn’t date much either. I am too afraid. Yet, I want to feel loved and cherished. I do, by God, but all around me are married women with children and houses. I struggle so much. I want free from it. I now know what a guy feels like when child support comes out of their paycheck…yet, I didn’t have kids or run off. All I did was try to get educated. I stayed and graduated but I also worked 3 jobs of babysitting, at an eye exam place and at the school. I watched everyone else socialize and do clubs yet I always had to work. They made fun of me.

    1. AnneLyn P says:

      Praying for you. May God bless and encourage your heart.

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