“And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? Whose damnation is just.” (Romans 3:8/KJV).
Currently, I am publishing all my posts under the subcategory “forgive”. This is based on the NIV rendering of 1 Corinthians 13:5d, saying: Love “keeps no record of wrongs.”
Earlier I have stated it is better for us to examine our own way of thinking in a more general sense, than merely trying to force ourselves not to have bad feelings about some wrong done to us. For that, the King James Version seems to offer a good basis. Here it says: Love “thinketh no evil.”
I have been quoting some other verses from the New Testament where the same Greek word translated ‘evil’ does occur. This is meant to help us gain some more insight into the meaning of the above phrase in 1 Corinthians 13:5d.
Today I intend to refer to another verse from Paul’s epistle to the Romans where this same Greek word for ‘evil’ is used. I want to very briefly explain what that verse means in its proper context. Then I am going to share some idea what it might tell us with regard to forgiving.
Doing Evil that Good May Come – What Was Paul Referring to?
Not all people did like the preaching and teaching of St. Paul. Obviously, some did vehemently object to certain of his ideas. Many might have disliked his preaching of Jesus Christ because Jesus had been condemned by the official leaders of the Jewish religion. Others would have disliked his approach towards Heathen people that were interested in Paul’s preaching.
Anyhow they would have found some ground to say Paul was doing that which is evil in their sight. So they were mocking Paul saying he was doing something which is wrong, yet hoping this might lead to something good.
Paul stresses that he would never teach that doing evil would lead to something good. He maintains that if he should speak a lie God would always judge him for that. So it would be wrong to say such a lie might serve to the greater glory of God.
Doing Evil that Good May Come – Something about Taking Revenge
But now I want to refer to our own ways of thinking and to our attitudes. What if somebody has seriously hurt or wronged us? Are we ever tempted with the idea that if we should do something evil to this individual, he or she might improve his or her attitude towards us?
Can take revenge ever improve the behaviour of some person opposed to us? I do not know. Perhaps some might even show some positive reaction when affected themselves. But can we really know? Very often taking revenge will lead to counter-revenge. Hurting and being hurt will continue.