The Bible says, “Overcome evil with good.” It does not say to overcome evil by thinking about how much you would like to do that forbidden thing, sitting on your hands and doing nothing. It says overcome evil with good. This is the principle of replacement. Nature abhors a vacuum. Paul said we must put off the old and put on the new. We don’t put on the new over the old. We don’t put off the old without replacing it with the new. How is the new different?
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:25–29 (NIV)
Replace falsehood with truth. Replace bad anger with good anger. Replace stealing with honest work and generosity. Replace unwholesome talk with helpful talk. Verses 31–32 say to replace bitterness, rage, anger, and so forth with kindness and compassion.
Jesus told the story of a demon possessed man whose demon was cast out. It left him and went to find a place to rest. It couldn’t find any. When the demon came back, it found the house (man) swept clean and empty. The demon goes and gets seven of his demon buddies and they all occupy the man together. Jesus says, “And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.” Matthew 12:45b (NIV) — Josh Hunt, Break a Habit / Make a Habit (Josh Hunt, 2013).
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