Overcome evil with good

19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.   (Romans 12, English Standard Version)

Second, doing good to those who do evil against us can bring about the end of their evil. This does not always occur, but as we saw in Romans 12:20, people who have done wrong are often shamed when we do not repay them in kind, and they stop mistreating us. The Holy Spirit can even work in this to bring about the repentance and conversion of our foes. John Murray writes in his commentary Romans, “By well-doing we are to be the instruments of quenching the animosity and the ill-doing of those who persecute and maltreat us.”

Overcoming Evil with Good. https://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/overcoming-evil-good/. Ligonier Ministries.

I cross referenced this with 1 Peter 3:16 [a letter in the New Testament Bible, English Standard Version]

16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

There was a similar sermon in 2005.

Paul’s call to us Christians to love our enemies (in Romans 12:20) and to overcome evil with good (in Romans 12:21) is based on what Christ did for us. Christ loved his enemies, and (in that way) he overcame evil with good. Not one of us would be a Christian if Christ had not loved his enemies and overcome our evil—our insubordination and willfulness and self-centeredness—with his great good—his death and resurrection.

John Piper. (20 Mar 2005). Christ Overcame Evil with Good—Do the Same. https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/christ-overcame-evil-with-good-do-the-same. Desiring God.



Sleep Apnea & Epilepsy

Professor Terry O’Brien… Royal Melbourne Hospital says there has been some evidence from other studies that patients with epilepsy may have an increased incidence of sleep-disordered breathing…

Doctors recruited 87 patients with epilepsy and monitored them in a sleep unit. They found 25 per cent had significant sleep-disordered breathing that was severe enough to require treatment…

Thirty-six-year-old Daniel Goldstein had always had strange sleeping habits, which included rocking back and forth during the night while he slept. Eventually, he was diagnosed with epilepsy but it was hard to stop seizures…

Since being treated for sleep apnoea, Mr Goldstein has also been able to reduce his epilepsy medications. Mr Goldstein was also given a CPAP machine which he says helps him soundly throughout the night.

[Extract] Sophie Scott. (2 Jun 2013). Doctors find key link between epilepsy and obstructive sleep apnoea. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-06-02/link-between-epilepsy-and-obstructive-sleep-apnoea/4728076. [accessed 24 Jun 2018]

Lifestyle changes

For milder cases of obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes:

  • Lose weight if you’re overweight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Drink alcohol moderately, if at all, and don’t drink several hours before bedtime.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Use a nasal decongestant or allergy medications.
  • Don’t sleep on your back…



  • Mouthpiece (oral device). Though positive airway pressure is often an effective treatment, oral appliances are an alternative for some people with mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea. These devices may reduce your sleepiness and improve your quality of life.

    These devices are designed to keep your throat open. Some devices keep your airway open by bringing your jaw forward, which can sometimes relieve snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Other devices hold your tongue in a different position.

    If you and your doctor decide to explore this option, you’ll need to see a dentist experienced in dental sleep medicine appliances for the fitting and follow-up therapy. A number of devices are available. Close follow-up is needed to ensure successful treatment.


Surgery or other Procedures

Surgery is usually considered only if other therapies haven’t been effective or haven’t been appropriate options for you. Surgical options may include:

  • Surgical removal of tissue. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is a procedure in which your doctor removes tissue from the back of your mouth and top of your throat. Your tonsils and adenoids may be removed as well. UPPP usually is performed in a hospital and requires a general anesthetic.

    Doctors sometimes remove tissue from the back of the throat with a laser (laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty) or with radiofrequency energy (radiofrequency ablation) to treat snoring. These procedures don’t treat obstructive sleep apnea, but they may reduce snoring.

Lifestyle and home remedies

In many cases, self-care may be the most appropriate way for you to deal with obstructive sleep apnea…

  • Keep your nasal passages open while you sleep. If you have congestion, use a saline nasal spray to help keep your nasal passages open. Talk to your doctor about using nasal decongestants or antihistamines, because some medications may only be recommended for short-term use.

[Extract] Mayo Clinic Staff. (no date, accessed 24 Jun 2018). Obstructive sleep apnea. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obstructive-sleep-apnea/symptoms-causes/syc-20352090. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER).


Hungary – Nationalism and Religion

I am making a selected reproduction of a past university essay I wrote on Hungary, a central European country. Regrettably, I would be disposing the original as it is slowly deteriorating (paper must be preserved well).

In the late 20th century, “there were around 5 million Hungarians (also called Magyars) outside of Hungary… Czechoslovakia started banishing Hungarians in 1947; while 2 million Magyars were subjected to force assimilation in Romania… Mindszenty* began castigating Czechoslovakia for their actions… With a chance to learn gospel in Hungarian, the Hungarian diaspora retained their identity… nationalism though overshadowed could not be repressed for long by international Communist class unity… Even the fall of communism came from reformers while theologians cited economics rather than theology as the main causes for the collapse of Communism. As such, religion played a victim with some victories in cross border nationalism and internal reform.”

Why did I keep the essay for so long? Perhaps the comments:

Very interesting and revealing, Weilun, as I would have expected of you.

And that history was engaging to me back then?

Sources and other references

  • Leslie Laszlo. (1984). “Religion and Nationality in Hungary”, Religion and Nationalism in Soviet and Eastern European Politics, ed. Pedro Ramet. Durham. Duke University Press. p.143.
  • Nielsen. Revolutions in Eastern Europe: The Religious Roots. p.57.
  • * [Catholic Church in Hungary, Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty] Alex Last. (6 Sep 2012). Fifteen years holed up in an embassy. https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-19470470. BBC.

Revenge and justice


The action of hurting or harming someone in return for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands (directly or indirectly).

The desire to repay an injury or wrong.

Adapted – Oxford Dictionaries entry. Accessed 3 Jun 2018. Oxford University Press.

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, said the Lord.

New Testament Bible, Romans 12:19 (King James Version)

More notes and selected quotes from an article comparing Revenge and Justice:

  • Revenge is mainly emotion driven vs Justice is led more by rationality
  • Personal vs Impersonal
  • Cyclical vs Closure
  • Retaliation vs Balance

When someone wrongs us, we rarely (if ever) want to do the same thing back. Why? Because we want to do something more harmful. Likewise, when someone insults us, our instinct is to search for words that will be more insulting. Revenge always escalates. Rob Bell. (2013). What We Talk about When We Talk about God.

Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both. Eleanor Roosevelt.

Leon F. Seltzer. (6 Feb 2014). Don’t Confuse Revenge With Justice: Five Key Differences. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evolution-the-self/201402/don-t-confuse-revenge-justice-5-key-differences. Psychology Today.

Related Post/References

Reconciliation and revenge

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

US President Abraham Lincoln, March 1865. In April 1865, he presided over the victory of the Union (North) over the Confederacy (South) in the American Civil War – days later, he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth (“a supporter of the Confederacy and of slavery” – Abraham Lincoln. American Experience. PBS.) Had Lincoln been the Prime Minister of France instead of Georges Clemenceau, perhaps World War Two would not have occurred.

Related posts

Infection control and risk

Reference: Why I refused to visit my friend… (in the hospital at the first invitation)

I return finally to this post… This post may sound mechanical. It is precisely so because I have resolved to wipe away traces of my trauma and trembling as I recall this event.

… My dear friend had then received his first child into this world. He was promptly warded into a public (‘restructured’) hospital for lung sepsis (… potentially life-threatening complication of an infection – https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sepsis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351214). The condition was not fully resolved after his discharge, and he was soon admitted to another restructured hospital. I was asked by the patient to make a visit. Reluctantly I went.

I knew I was unwell and infectious so I did the following:

  • wore a surgical face mask
  • used disposable wet wipes – 70% Isopropyl Alcohol solution (or non-alcoholic equivalent) to wipe my arms and hands as I took a seat at the ground floor before taking lift
  • rubbed my hands with the antiseptic solution gel/rub provided by the hospital before I entered the room
  • cleaned the chair I sat on with the abovementioned wet wipes when I left
  • to push open the door to the room, I believe I used my foot instead – to avoid hand contact

Why did I do these?

The risk of getting an infection while in hospital is low, but patients can be vulnerable as they are already in poor health…

Visitors can help by:

  • Not visiting if you are feeling unwell, have a cold or cough, or have had any symptoms of sickness or diarrhoea in the last 48 hours;
  • Washing hands and using the alcohol hand rub when entering and leaving the ward areas…
  • Where possible, don’t bring children aged 12 years and under onto the wards, as they can be susceptible to infection;
  • Not sitting on patients’ beds, please use the visitors’ chairs provided…

Germs can be spread by touch and so washing your hands is one of the easiest ways of reducing the spread of infection… It is essential to wash your hands:

– After going to the toilet

– Before touching food and eating

– If they look or feel dirty

– After coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose

– Before and after handling medical devices such as catheter

Infection Prevention & Control. (accessed 27 May 2018). https://www.hdft.nhs.uk/services/infection-prevention-control/#hospital-infection-prevention-and-control-performance. Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust. North Yorkshire.


“Dr. Sanders, I’m still sick”… It was strange, she told me; she was fine during the day — with maybe the occasional cough — but at night, when she lay down, it was unbearable. She slept in a chair the past two nights, because in bed she kept waking up to cough. And the day before, she had a strange pressure in her chest… Cough is the most common single reason for a visit to a primary-care doctor. Most of the time it’s caused by an upper-respiratory infection or a cold. But that type of cough usually resolves on its own. A persistent cough has many possible causes. The most likely is an allergy…  Now she was back, sicker than ever, and I was starting to get nervous. I had already referred her to an ear, nose and throat doctor and a gastroenterologist. If none of this panned out, I wasn’t sure what to do next.

Lisa Sanders. (4 Jun 2013). The Cough That Wouldn’t Stop. http://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/06/16/magazine/diagnosis-cough-that-wouldnt-stop.html?_r=0#/#abnormal. The New York Times.


On Thursday, we challenged Well readers to unravel the mystery of a 75-year-old woman with a cough that lasted for months. In addition, we asked you to tell us what kind of test you would order to clinch the diagnosis.

The correct diagnosis is…
Lady Windermere syndrome
And the necessary test is…
A culture of the patient’s sputum

… Lady Windermere syndrome is an infection of the lung caused by mycobacterium avium-intracellulare, a bacterium related to the bug that causes tuberculosis. This bug is ubiquitous and commonly found in dust and dirt, in households and farmyards.

Lisa Sanders. (7 Jun 2013). Think Like a Doctor: A Cough Solved. https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/think-like-a-doctor-a-cough-solved/. Well Blog. The New York Times.

Related references

  • [… she writes the popular Diagnosis column for the New York Times Magazine and the Think Like a Doctor column featured in the New York Times blog, The Well. Her column was the inspiration for the Fox program House MD (2004-2012) and she served as a consultant to the show.] Lisa Sanders, MD, FACP. Associate Professor of Medicine (General Medicine). Biography. https://medicine.yale.edu/intmed/people/lisa_sanders.profile. Yale School of Medicine.
  • Rhinitis – 鼻炎 [post on condition affected by coughing]