PEACE

Romans 12:17-18

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

Philippians2:3-4

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your interests, but also the interests of others.”

Have you ever gone through a time in life where you felt as though you were being treated unfair? Maybe you were accused by a boss for something that you did not do, family members misunderstood your motives, friends gossiped about you, or others believed untruths?

I am no stranger to this feeling. A truth that I share with my kids often is that life is not fair. In fact, the Lord has never promised us equal and just treatment by others. Instead, in Philippians2:3, the Lord has commanded us to consider others better than ourselves. I admit, sometimes that is more difficult than others. It is scary to think that others are watching my reaction when I have been treated unfairly. I am not just talking about my children either. But non- believers and young Christians are watching our reactions. They are looking to us as an example as to how to respond to these situations.

We are all faced with these scenarios. We live in a fallen world. Gossip spreads faster than raging wildfires and some people will consistently look for ways to bring you down, hoping to elevate themselves. Take heed to the warning found in Romans 12:17. “Do not repay evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.” Our flesh sometimes wants to see justice served. We want others exposed for who they really are, we want people to see the truth. Most of all, I want to defend myself.

The Lord has had to remind me on several occasions that I am not the judge and that He is. Furthermore, I do not need to be my own defense attorney to share the facts with others because He already knows and see all. What I am told that my response should be is found in Romans 18, “as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” If I continue to fan the flames of discord, anger, or hurt feelings, how can I be living in peace with others?

Can we always obtain peace with others? Sadly, that answer is no. But we must be careful to not make that our excuse. Romans 18 begins with “If it is possible….” If we are doing all that we can and making sure that we put others’ interest above our own, then we have done what the Lord has asked of us. If peace is not achieved, let it not be from our disobedience. If others choose to believe untruths, if we lose people in our lives, if social media is covered in stories about us, we need to respond out of humility and love and not react out of our pain and pride.