Moving In The Opposite Spirit

Remember the old expression, enough is enough? Perhaps it’s time to make that declaration again! It seems like fear, intolerance, anger, division, and hatred have become a dominant force in almost every aspect of our lives, including the church.


On social media, it's the outrageous and often destructive rants getting the most “likes". Have “likes” become the new “Amen”? Has the number of followers we have replaced the values that Jesus taught? Has our weakly-formed but strongly-held opinions become more important than reflecting the heart of God?

Those are questions that I often think about. Here’s another one, did Jesus really mean it when he said “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you”. Luke 6:27-28.

What about Paul in Romans 12:21? “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Or what Peter wrote; “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing." I Peter 3:9.

I was recently reminded of a teaching I heard years ago. The founder of Youth With A Mission, Loren Cunningham talked about responding in the opposite spirit; how powerful it is in defeating the works of darkness, defusing negative situations, healing broken relationships, and bringing peace.

Social media makes it easier than ever to react and retaliate. Moving in the opposite spirit is the opposite of just reacting to what’s going on around you. It’s allowing the Holy Spirit to show you how to respond with the heart of Jesus.

Where there is hate and division, respond with love and unity. Where there is turmoil and strife, allow the Holy Spirit to bring peace and order. Where there is fear, remember, “God will never give you the spirit of fear, but the Holy Spirit who gives you mighty power, love, and self-control.” II Timothy 1:7 TPT.

Moving in the opposite spirit is not always easy. In fact, it can be extremely difficult. Everything in us says retaliate, an eye for an eye, they asked for it. That only multiplies the problem and never brings a solution.

I think Martin Luther King, Jr. nailed it with this statement:

Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.