“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.” Friedrich Nietzsche, from Beyond Good and Evil
Have you ever become what you hate? You know, when you see something wrong, some injustice, some way in which people are treating others unfairly and you just want to react furiously to that injustice?
The struggle for me is to, in reacting to the monsters of unfairness, injustice, even slander to end up becoming what I hate; that is, I become just like what I am condemning. In fighting monsters, I often end up becoming one myself.
If you are like me in this way, perhaps you could benefit from spending time praying through the following Bible passages. And as we pray we can take time to confess, repent, and ask for strength to overcome and be more like Jesus.
Matthew 5:38-42 NLT
“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘If an eye is injured, injure the eye of the person who did it. If a tooth gets knocked out, knock out the tooth of the person who did it.’ But I say, don’t resist an evil person! If you are slapped on the right cheek, turn the other, too. If you are ordered to court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.”
Romans 12:14-21 NIV
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
May God protect us from ourselves. May He keep us from becoming monsters!