Thursday, September 06, 2012

Do Not Repay Evil with Evil

"Do not raise your hand to strike. Do not open your mouth in anger, but remain still. How can the one who wants to do evil things against you hurt you? It does not hurt you: it hurts the other person. Suffering injustice does not hurt the Christian, but doing injustice does. Indeed, evil can do only one thing to you, namely, make you also become evil. If it does, then it wins. Therefore, do not repay evil with evil. If you do, you will not hurt the other person; you will hurt yourself. You are not in danger when evil happens to you, but the person who does you wrong is in danger and will suffer from it, if you do not offer help. Therefore, for the sake of the other person and your responsibility for that person -do not repay evil with evil...

How does that happen? Not by our giving nourishment to the other person's evil, hate to the other person's hate, but by letting evil strike out into empty space and find nothing that can inflame it. How can we overcome evil? By our forgiving it endlessly. How does that happen? By our seeing enemies as they really are: as people for whom Christ died, as people Christ loves."

-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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