Conquering Evil with Christian Good
What Scriptural examples do we have of Jehovah’s servants conquering evil with good?
Joseph, the son of the patriarch Jacob, gave a fine example of this. His brothers had done him a great evil by selling him into slavery and then representing him to their father as being dead. Yet he freely forgave them and provided for them generously. The apostles of Jesus Christ also gave a fine example of this by continuing in the Christian ministry in spite of having been imprisoned and beaten by some who failed to appreciate their good work. But, of course, the greatest example of conquering evil with good was furnished by Jesus Christ. He ministered tirelessly in spite of bitter opposition and even laid down his life so that mankind, including those who ignorantly opposed him, might get life.—Gen. 45:1-13; Acts 5:41, 42; Matt. 20:28.
The fruitage of long-suffering and self-control. (Gal. 5:22, 23) When one is suffering evil at the hands of another, there is the tendency to act quickly in retaliation. It is therefore important to be slow to anger, which is what long-suffering means. Also when one sees the wicked prosper, there is the temptation to get heated up and lose one’s temper. But God’s Word counsels: “Do not show yourself heated up because of the evildoers.” (Ps. 37:1) It takes self-control to be able to heed that counsel and remain calm, trusting in Jehovah to set matters right in his own due time. This is what the apostle Paul did, and he wrote: “Alexander the coppersmith did me many injuries—Jehovah will repay him according to his deeds.”—2 Tim. 4:14.
In the congregation who in particular must exemplify and show others how to conquer evil with Christian good?
The appointed servants. There may be those who very foolishly or ignorantly question God’s truth or disagree with the Bible and cause some real problems in the congregation. The appointed servants must handle such calmly, as it would not do any good to cause strife. Then again, they may not receive the support from others in the congregation that they might expect. This too can put a test on their long-suffering and self-control. As the appointed servants they must heed the admonition: “Turn down foolish and ignorant questionings, knowing they produce fights. But a slave of the Lord does not need to fight, but needs to be gentle toward all, qualified to teach, keeping himself restrained under evil, instructing with mildness those not favorably disposed.” Heeding this counsel will enable them to conquer the evil with Christian good.—2 Tim. 2:23-25.
What benefits accrue to God’s servants by conquering evil with Christian good?
For one thing, there are physical benefits: “Pleasant sayings are . . . a healing to the bones.” (Prov. 16:24) But losing one’s temper is bad for one’s own health as well as for the health of one’s loved ones who have to endure it. To conquer evil with good will cause rage to subside instead of to increase. (Prov. 15:1) This will be true whether one is dealing with persecution or with problems in one’s own family. At times it has even resulted in opposers’ becoming Christian witnesses of Jehovah. Yes, many are the benefits resulting from conquering evil with Christian good.
a For details see The Watchtower, September 15, 1969.