To do evil or to do good

Proverbs 14--22

The Verse of the Day for February 23, 2016 sets forth two options as to how believers should conduct their lives:

Proverbs 14:22

Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good.

The New Living Translation puts it this way:

Proverbs 14:22

If you plan to do evil, you will be lost; if you plan to do good, you will receive unfailing love and faithfulness.

Throughout the Psalms we find numerous indications as to the path we should take. When it comes to doing evil or doing good, here are some verses that encourage us to

To do good

Psalm 34:14 (AMP)

Turn away from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 37:3 in the Amplified Bible reveals what occurs when we do good:

Trust [rely on and have confidence] in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and feed [securely] on His faithfulness.

Not only are we to do good, but God will do good to those who do good:

Psalm 125:4 (AMP)

Do good, O Lord, to those who are good And to those who are upright in their hearts.

In the New Testament as well we find words that encourage believers “to do good.” Jesus Christ exhorts his followers with these words:

Luke 6:27 (AMP):

“But I say to you who hear [Me and pay attention to My words]: Love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, [make it a practice to] do good to those who hate you,

Galatians 6:10 (AMP) expands the number of recipients to whom we should “do good.”

So then, while we [as individual believers] have the opportunity, let us do good to all people [not only being helpful, but also doing that which promotes their spiritual well-being], and especially [be a blessing] to those of the household of faith (born-again believers).

To do evil

In contrast, in the Book of Psalms and elsewhere in Scripture we find sobering words regarding those who “do evil.”

Psalm 5:5 (AMP):

The boastful and the arrogant will not stand in Your sight; You hate all who do evil.

Psalm 34:16 states God’s position this way:

The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, To cut off the memory of them from the earth.

Psalm 36:12 also speaks of those who do evil in this way:

11 Do not let the foot of the proud [person] overtake me,
and do not let the hand of the wicked drive me away.

12 There those who [are perverse and] do evil have fallen;
They have been thrust down and cannot rise.

Psalm 37:9

For those who do evil will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.

Seemingly the choice to refrain from doing evil and to practice doing good continually would be simple one. Note what God says about those who practice or who do evil:

Jeremiah 13:23 (NKJV)

Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.

Jeremiah 18:10 (AMP) indicates that there are severe consequences to those who “do evil”:

and if they do evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will reverse My decision concerning the good with which I had promised to bless them.

1 Peter 3:12

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Clearly, those who conduct their lives with evil intentions are not looked upon favorably with God. As the Verse of the Day reminds us: those who choose to do good will be rewarded.

This final exhortation regarding good and evil comes from Romans 12:21 (AMP):

Do not be overcome and conquered by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Steve Green offers this musical rendition of Romans 12:21 “Overcome Evil with Good” directed to children of God of all ages:

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