I've been giving a lot of thought about how to reach people and to teach them how to live godly lives, to live correctly and honorably. It is all to easy to "condemn that which is evil", but is that really helpful? It is very easy to destroy and to tear something apart. It is much more difficult to build something of value. I looked up the saying "overcome evil by doing good. I found where in the Bible it says this: Romans 12:21. As I was looking it up I read the verse in context and saw that this was all good, so copied the whole section here:
"9Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
14Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
19Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”
says the LORD.
“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
burning coals of shame on their heads.”
21Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good." Romans 12:9-21, New Living Translation
The key is at the bottom, "overcome evil by doing good." It takes more than just a thought to do good. It takes some knowledge about what is wrong and what to do to correct the wrong.
It could be put as simply as "Do the right thing in each situation" and apply it personally to oneself. Don't condemn others, but rather fix your own faults. Only then are we able to truly help others to change. In contrast, as soon as we start condemning others, we get the attention off of fixing our own faults. It's so much easier to make other people out to be the bad guy. But the path to godliness in this nation or in one's own home begin with each of us. Only when we point the finger at ourselves and say, "you are the one who needs to change", only then does the world begin to change. The change starts with you and me.