Returning Good for Evil: Where There’s a Will…
Key Bible Verse: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” Matthew 5: 44b-45a
Bonus Reading: 1 Samuel 24: 8-22
An old movie, “Stars in My Crown”, portrays life in one frontier community where a valuable deposit of copper was discovered. It ran straight under the little parcel of land on which an elderly black believer lived.
It was the only home he’d ever known. So when several local business leaders offered to buy the man’s property, he refused. When they couldn’t buy out the old man, the businessmen resorted to intimidation. They posted a note on the door that if he wasn’t off the property by sundown the next night, members of the local Ku Klux Klan would hang him from the nearest tree.
The minister got wind of this. The next night he was there at the house with the old man when the hooded figures arrived.
He told them his friend had asked him to prepare a will to read to them before they hung him. The old man willed the property to the businessmen – left his rifle to another person, his fishing rod to a third and so on – lovingly relinquishing everything he had to those who’d come to take his life.
One by one, in shameful silence, the lynching mob members slipped into the darkness.
- John Claypool in Mending the Heart
Take courage as you risk to love others. God is watching over you.
Thought to Apply: Abashed the devil stood, and felt how awful goodness is.
- John Milton (English poet, 17th century)
Adapted from Mending the Heart (Cowley, 1999).