BY ELLEN MARTIN
Do you have that person (or people) in your life that are just hard to get along with? I am guilty of ending things badly or making a bad situation worse. It may be easier to just write people off that frustrate and aggravate you and never speak to them again. Is this what God wants for us, though?
Romans 12:17-18 says “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Verse 19 goes on to say “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’”.
God commands us to live at peace with everyone. I would be the first to admit that this is very difficult to do. I have a tendency to not back down and to have the last word. We need to allow God to be in control. As Romans 12:19 says, we do not need to avenge ourselves. We need to trust God with our hurts, offenses, and other wrongs people have done to us.
Jesus said in John 16:33: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Life can be hard, but Jesus provides peace for us. He provides the strength we need to forgive others and be at peace with them.
Romans 12:17 says to not repay evil with evil but to do what is honourable. Although it may be difficult to do what is right, honourable, and respectful, it is the proper (and commanded) thing to do. We are to give up ourselves for one another. Remember that when dealing with fellow Christians, we are brothers and sisters in Christ. It may seem easy to leave things on bad terms with someone, but is it the way that God wants His children to live? It is important to remember that we are all sinners. It is easy to build up expectations on how someone else should live. However, we need to remember that we are in the same boat as them – we are all sinners needing grace.
Despite this, there are some cases where it is not best to continue communication with someone due to abuse or other negative behaviour or actions. The best way to live at peace with these people may be just to leave things how they are. Living at peace does not necessarily mean having to talk to everyone all the time, regardless of their behaviour towards you. Living at peace means giving your situation to God. God is in control, and we need to trust Him with our situations. As Romans 12:19 says, God is the Judge.
I will end with quoting Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” May God give you peace and the strength to live at peace with others. Don’t look for trouble.
Ellen Martin is a follower of Jesus Christ from Ontario, Canada. She is currently completing her Master’s of Education degree. She is passionate about apologetics, creation, and children. You can follow her on Twitter at @ellenmartin03.