Living Peaceably With Everyone - Part 2

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18 (NKJV)

We’re looking at a two part devotional with regard to the exhortation for us to live peaceably with others.  We noted, it might not be possible to do this, because some people are just set against being peaceful.  We are told to do it “as much as it depends on us.”  Bottom line here is if someone else is willing to live in peace, we better be doing everything we can to do our part—even if we don’t feel like it. 

As Christian believers, we can be confident God has given us the power to do His will, and this power is given by way of the Holy Spirit.  We see the principles of this in the following scriptures in Romans. 

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:12-13 (NKJV)

Q:         So let’s talk practically for a moment.  What if you find yourself being talked to in a harsh, negative way—what would the proper response be according to God’s word?

We are to respond with a loving, soft answer.  We can see Solomon speaking of this very principle in Proverbs 15:1.

A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1 (NKJV)

A soft or gentle answer will be tender and not harsh or negative, whereas a harsh word is usually critical and is meant to cause mental anguish.  If we respond with harsh words we can be sure we are aggravating the flesh of the person we are speaking to.  This happens even with other brothers and sisters in the Lord, as the old fleshly nature is stirred up.

Q:         So what happens if we have done our part in attempting to reconcile with an enemy but they don’t receive it?

We need to continue to follow the plan as laid out in Romans 12:9-21.  No matter what, we must be committed to doing our part regardless of whether others receive it or respond to it. 

It is important for us to communicate with those people we are having an issue with, and to let them know how we are feeling—but without pointing fingers or attacking them.  If we would simply share our heart's desire to get along; ask for forgiveness for any part we may have played in their anger or frustration, and express a genuine attitude to reconcile, then we can know we are in God’s will—the ball is now in their court now.  We need to be faithful to do this and allow God’s spirit to do the convicting.

Regardless of how others choose to respond to our sincere efforts and acts of love, it will never give us a right to retaliate in an ungodly way. There is no justification for repaying evil for evil—ever!  As with our enemies, when we have done our part, we need to know we are doing the Lord’s will.  We are the ones who are in control of our actions—we will be the ones to choose whom we will serve this day.

I want to encourage you today, without compromising God's word, do whatever is in your power to build a peaceful relationship between those who may be your enemy.

STUDY QUESTION:  According to Proverbs 15:1, what kind of answer should we have for those who may be attacking us verbally?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Can you see times where you have responded to others with a harsh word?  Can you remember the wrath that ensued?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Let's make it a point to think before we begin to talk, especially when in the heat of battle.  Let's make it a point to simply share our heart's desire to work out the issue.

LET'S PRAY:  Father, thank You for Your Word.  Thank You for showing us how to handle difficult situations by responding in love, mercy, and with a kind word.  Father, we know You defend us, as Your children, and we need to trust in you alone.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott




Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000