BIBLE READING: ROMANS 12
17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
It is not always the easiest thing to live peaceably with all men. I’m sure that is why Paul says “if it be possible“. Paul does give us some quick principles about how to live peaceably, and I would like for us to simply look at them today.
1. Don’t respond to evil with evil.
It is always a temptation to respond to someone who has done you wrong, by doing the same thing to them. But we are Christians, and we should be different. We are told here when somebody does wrong to you, do not respond by doing wrong to them. This is just part of trying to live peaceably with all men.
2. Be honest.
If anything ruins peace in relationships, it is being dishonest. Just being honest with people will eliminate most conflicts. Don’t fool yourself. Do not think that you can be misleading and dishonest about things and still somehow keep peace in a relationship.
3. Give your best effort.
“As much as lieth in you”. Oftentimes we make the effort, but when keeping peace is not easy, we give up. Paul says here that we need to give it everything we have, because sometimes that is what it is going to take to keep peace with the person.
4. DO NOT SEEK REVENGE
“Avenge not yourselves”. I could come up with some shrewd things to say about that, but you get the point.
5. LEARN TO CALM DOWN
“Give place unto wrath”. If you’re not careful, frustration can turn to agitation, agitation can turn to anger, anger can turn to wrath, and wrath can cause unfixable damage. So, you need to start the process before you get overly frustrated. You must learn to calm down before the frustration gets the best of you.
6. Let God handle it.
“Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord”. In order to keep peace with others, we must learn to let God handle those conflicts. We ruin peace in our lives when we try to fix things. When we try to take over, we make it worse. Don’t try to fix the person, don’t try to get even with the person, and don’t try to preach to the person. Just let God handle it.