“A gift given in secret soothes anger, and a bribe concealed in the cloak pacifies great wrath.”
I find myself too frequently trying to disarm sin without arming myself with righteousness. I don’t know where I get this idea from. It’s certainly not promoted in the Bible, which tells us to be properly equipped. And it’s certainly not in any movie or book I’ve seen…no one goes into battle without a plan. But attempting to fight off temptation without drawing upon the Spirit of the Lord is just that.
Solomon doesn’t say “Let the anger cool, and swallow it.” He doesn’t say “Hide your malicious thoughts and ignore your evil desires.” He doesn’t say “Give into your anger, and your journey to the dark side will be complete.“ He says to counter anger with humble generosity. Because the truth is, you can step out of darkness without stepping into the light. You cannot live the life Jesus has called you into simply by avoiding hell—you have to enter into heaven, too. Fighting off temptation without stepping into righteousness is the best way to stay lukewarm. So don’t fight the enemy with your weapons…fight with God’s weapons.
Fight greed with generosity. Give.
Fight selfishness with selflessness. Serve.
Fight pride with humility. Honor.
Fight despair with praise. Thank.
Fight hard feelings with forgiveness. Forgive.
Fight apathy with action. Go.
Fight with love, not with morality. Don’t just seek to neutralize…seek to vitalize.
A defense of obligation is just an offense of jealousy or guilt in disguise. Christianity isn’t about avoiding Satan—it’s about encountering God! We will gain ground and grow in strength when we begin to counter darkness, instead of merely blocking it.
And never give into the dark side.