“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you,
live peaceably with all men.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves,
but rather give place unto wrath:
for it is written, Vengeance is mine;
I will repay, saith the Lord.
Therefore if thine enemy hunger,
feed him; if he thirst, give him drink:
for in so doing thou shalt
heap coals of fire on his head.”
Wait…slow down…read that passage in Romans 12:18-20 again. Notice what It says, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” This comes with two thoughts; one, it may not be possible, and two, it depends on what’s in you.
The sad truth is, not everyone wants to live peaceably with each other. Many of us are too stinking stubborn and selfish. We don’t like being wrong or being done wrong. We’d usually rather argue than concede.
The awesome truth is, if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, God’s very own Spirit is dwelling in us. That means that we have the ability to follow God’s instructions, live like Christ, love others unconditionally, and live peacefully with people. This is true, even when it seems impossible.
Very often (when I’m willing to accept it) I will admit that I’m the one who disturbs my peace. It happens every time I bow up and feel the need to debate an issue, defend myself or ideas, or demand something be done my way.
I’m never at peace with those who wrong me when I try to get even and return fire. It’s hard to step back and let God handle our persecutors and enemies.
The battles of life never stop, when we keep engaging in battle.
It has taken a long time for me to grasp this, but I’m slowly learning that these verses don’t mean you have to trust hurtful people, continue to let them treat you badly, or allow them back in your life. We can set our boundaries and let God take care of them for their wrongs.
There is something comforting in being able to let go of what doesn’t pertain to us. This is especially true when we quit trying to fix things, control people, or retaliate. God said leave that to him. That should be a load off our minds.
Living peacefully with others is possible when we handle ourselves and others God’s way.
Look at the Greek definition for “possible”:
Possible – Greek #1415 – dunatos
From G1410; powerful or capable (literally or figuratively); neuter possible: –
With access to the power of God in our lives, the possibilities for peace are probable. Let’s look at the Romans passage again and see what we can do with difficult relationships:
- Avenge not yourselves
- Give place unto wrath (Let anger have its place and leave it there.)
- If thine enemy hunger, feed him
- If he thirst, give him drink
Leaving vengeance in God’s hands and letting him take care of those who prefer to fight rather than live peacefully, is how we are able to overcome the hurt and anger and stop the wars we face. As impossible as it seems, there is an amazing peace that comes with learning to forgive, stop the fighting, and let the injustices go.
Bring It Home
Do you find it impossible to live peacefully with others?
Would you be willing to apply these verses to help your situation?
Praying for you as we grow together,