4) “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21) If we become as mean-spirited and hateful as those who oppose us, we have already lost the battle. As Dr. King famously said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” We must set our goals higher by exposing what is wrong and modeling what is right, not by getting dragged down into the dirt.
5) “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1) As the old saying goes, you can win the argument but lose the point (or the person!). Don’t let pride or a quick temper dictate your speech (or your online communication). Step back, get control of your emotions, and reach out rather than attack. You’ll be amazed with the results that you get. (Yes, this is easier said than done, but the rewards are well worth the effort.)
6) “All the nations are as nothing before [God], they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.” (The words of Isaiah, Isaiah 40:17) Remember to keep your perspective. Some of the most ferocious, intimidating leaders of history are nothing more than dust and ashes today, and the Iron Curtain, the Bamboo Curtain, and the Berlin Wall all came down in the last generation. As a historian once observed, two thousand years ago, Nero was considered to be the divine emperor while the apostle Paul was a little known Roman prisoner, soon to be beheaded. Who knew that centuries later, people would call their dogs Nero and their sons Paul?
7) “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) These words were spoken by Jesus to his disciples shortly before he was betrayed and crucified, and they are as relevant today as ever. Jesus wanted them (and us) to know that no one will be totally exempt from pain or suffering or hardship. But, Jesus added, take heart and be at peace. Just as he overcame every obstacle (including death itself!), we his followers can overcome too. In other words, “We shall overcome” was not just the song of the Civil Rights movement. It is our song too. “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.” (1 John 5:4)
There are many more principles like these in the Scriptures, but let’s get started by implementing these seven. It will revolutionize our world.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.