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History pretty much confirms that the seeds of World War II were sown in the months following World War I. In that first conflict, the Allies were determined to teach Germany a lesson. The terms of the Versailles treaty were so vindictive that the German economy never recovered. Such was the desperation and poverty of the German people that they became ripe picking for the lies of Hitler and the malevolent NAZIs.

So when World War II ended, the Allies are, understandably angry. So much destruction and loss had occurred simply because Germany for the second time in twenty years had sought to subjugate the nations of Europe. Their impulse was to wreck heavy reparations on Germany yet again.

The German people were broken and weary. Their cities lay in smoke and rubble, their lives in tatters. Hunger, cold and disease were on the rise, and now they flinched before the inevitable and understandable wrath of the victors.

But in the midst of the bitterness came a quiet bunch of American Christian missionaries. Roy Palmer and Otis Gatewood, members of a relatively small fellowship in the US called churches of Christ brought food, clothes, and the message of Jesus Christ to a beaten German population.

The Germans never forgot it.

Where they expected vengeance, they received mercy. Where they expected recriminations, they were offered the Gospel.

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

In your family, and in your church, there is always the danger of allowing resentment and anger to overcome you. Remember this. Returning good for evil really works. Remember that when we were his enemies, God responded in love, not revenge (Romans 5:10)!