More Than Mere ConquerorsDan Doyle
We are more than conquerors. That word, “conquerors,” is a curious word, is it not? We do not have a positive feeling about that word. It bears a heavy cargo of negative ideas with it. When we hear this word it usually invokes thoughts of violence and war, or of tyranny and oppression. That is why Paul’s use of the word here is revealing. He says, “We are more than conquerors.” In putting it this way, he is revealing a very important distinction.
What makes us more than conquerors. Well, the answer to that question surrounds this passage, before and after it. It is all about love. “We know that all things work for good for those who love God.” (verse 28) “What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (verse 31) “For I am convinced that neither death nor life…can separate us from the love of God.” (verses 38-39) That is the difference between us and those who feel they must, by force of will, conquer all that is in their way. We are more than that because all that we do is in recognition of God’s love for us, and out of our love for him. We wish to conquer no one. We wish, rather, to submit to the will of God who is in all things good, true and beautiful. Our lives are not governed by fears, or unholy desires. We are not the slaves of our egos. We demand no obeisance from others, rather, we desire only to serve those who are in the greatest need. This is why we are more than conquerors.
We have been conquered by the love of God. Because of this we have been freed to be fully human. We are more than conquerors because we are no longer driven by worldly fears or desires. As Christians, we are to “conquer” hearts and minds through love, by our actions of mercy and compassion, not by force of arms. This is why we are more than mere conquerors. Because Christ died for us, setting us free from sin and death, we have been shown a higher way to live in this world. We have seen that it is better to serve than to be served; to forgive than to bear useless resentments. We have seen the saving power of God in the person of Jesus Christ, the one who the Scribes, the Pharisees and the Romans thought that they had conquered by putting him to the Cross. But we have seen their foolishness in the refulgent light of the Resurrection. Because of all of this, we go forward in our Christian faith, humbly picking up and bearing our crosses and following Jesus joyfully. Yes, we are more than mere conquerors. We are free, loved, and forgiven children of the God of creation. We bear no ill will toward man, beast or nature. Our faith has made us stewards, rather than owners. We have nothing to conquer, only to love.
Lord, help us to be more than conquerors every day, by giving us the grace to serve, to shepherd, and to love others as you have served, shepherded, and loved us. In this way, and in this way only, will we be more than conquerors in this world. In your name we pray, Jesus. Amen!
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