What would you do?
13 If anyone returns evil for good, evil will not depart from his house.
When your good deeds receive evil in return, remember that your reward is in Heaven.
We have all seen or known of a situation where “evil has been returned for good”. Whether on a personal level with a loved one that is always suspicious of your motives and never accepts the kindness being offered, or on a professional level when your generosity, openness, and honesty has been taken advantage of and left you feeling used and mistreated.
Proverbs 17:13 is a warning for those individuals that have evil intentions in their dealings with others. The warning of “evil will not depart from his house” is one that should be a firm reminder of how seriously God views this devilish response to good being offered. The implication here is that the punishment is not only for the wrongdoer but also for his household. This is how offensive this sin of ingratitude is to God and it must be carefully avoided.
How should we respond when we encounter these individuals? In the narrative of scripture, we see evil being repaid for good over and over in the lives of God’s people. We see it as we read through the pages of the bible and look into the lives of those like Joseph, Daniel, David, and especially our Lord Jesus.
David in Psalm 38 gives us a picture of the right response to those who would repay us evil for good. David says in verses 19-22 “19 but my foes are vigorous, they are mighty, and many are those who hate me wrongfully. 20 Those who render me evil for good accuse me because I follow after good. 21 Do not forsake me, O Lord! O my God, be not far from me! 22 Make haste to help me,
O Lord, my salvation!” When David faced those evil intentions, he prayed and he went to the Lord for strength. He did not respond in anger and with a vengeful spirit. Instead he asked God to be ever nearer in that moment and be his salvation in his time of need.
As we encounter these individuals and situations in our life, we should remember that our justice, and our salvation is in the Lord. Jesus gave us countless examples of humility in the face of unwarranted hate and opposition. His example for us was to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, our soul, our strength and our mind, and from that relationship and walk with Him will come the ability to love others as we love ourselves. Even when they repay us evil for good.
Questions To Ponder
What does this verse say you will have if you’re mean to those who are good to you?
What is this verse implying that we should do?
Are there people that have been nice toward you… but you’ve had a bad attitude or mean in return to them?
What are some ways you could be kind toward others?
Scripture Memory | February | Proverbs 18:2
“Fools have no interest in understanding;
they only want to air their own opinions.”