Buoyed by Grace

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. ROMANS 12:21 ESV 

As he watched the instructional videos, he was mesmerized. A young girl flailed frantically in the water, screaming for help as she battled the waves and the hidden current that was causing her visible crisis. But as the lifeguard swam out to meet her, she didn’t relax or act relieved at all, despite her savior’s arrival. Instead, the panic and thrashing only intensified. “You can’t approach someone drowning from the front,” the instructor called out to the class over the video. “Watch how the lifeguard comes in from behind.” Sure enough, he swam around the girl to get to the back where he could reach under her armpits and secure her shoulders while protecting himself from her frantic gestures. Buoyed by the life preserver he brought, they both made it to shore safely and swiftly. 

In a very real way, God calls His kids to be lifeguards for a world full of people in danger of drowning in spiritual darkness. Most of the time, they know they’re in some sort of trouble—their souls endlessly searching for an identity or purpose to cling to for life. But finding no solid or stable ground, they begin flailing and grasping at whatever promises to change their fate. Unfortunately, even Christians can find themselves in a similar state if they wander away from the safety of Truth’s shore. 

But we must be careful with our approach to rescuing. If we barge in with a frontal attack, seeking to forcefully rip the wrong idols out of their hands, the struggle may sink us both. Instead, we grab hold of the Spirit of God to buoy us with His grace and truth. We surprise them with the radical kindness and security of God’s love, extended to them in spite of their oppositional defiance. Through prayer and persistent goodness, we work in tandem with God’s ever-present Spirit and His timing to pull them back to safety. 

Lord, thank You for rescuing me from certain death. I am awed by Your goodness and want to extend that to others, even if they only retaliate against my efforts. Help me to overcome evil with good, acting toward others out of the overflow of Your mercy toward me. In Jesus’s name. 

This is an excerpt from True Sweetness: Growing in the Fruits of the Spirit – a devotional now available on DaySpring.com. Shop all books, journals, and devotions from DaySpring here.