Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Overcome – niko – the only occurence of this word is here and it means to not be conquered or prevailed against.
We are not to be conquered by kakos – anything bad or harmful.
This could be an external situation or even an internal situation.
We are to stand against any situation, any thought, any action, which is bad and could do us harm.
We are not to be conquered or prevailed against.
How are we to do accomplish that?
By taking action ourselves.
We are not to be passive in our difficulties and troubles, but we are to counter or prevail against this ‘evil’ with ‘good’.
This second instance of ‘overcome’ is present only twice in the New Testament and is linked to the first instance in the verse.
Nika – essentially carries the same meaning of conquering or prevailing over – in this case we prevail against evil with good – agathos – actions and thoughts which benefit rather than harm.
We overcome negative situations by countering them with positive words and actions.
Try it next time you are in a difficult place or frustrated that something isn’t working out for you.
We cannot be passive. We must take action.
We can overcome.