Do all that you can to live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18
For years I have tried to determine the best way to read, reflect, and write what God has spoken to me as I sit with Him each day. There has been quite a learning curve along the way. Many a planner bought. Many a planner tossed. Until finally the system that works for me was born.
It involves reading a passage of Scripture, noting the particular verse that speaks to me, and writing down what He says to me.
I also then pencil in a verse of the day.
Sometimes I read the rest of the passage. Most days I don’t.
Until this particular day. Only because it had been the second time in two weeks I had been directed to this very one.
Live at peace with everyone.
When I picked this particular plan on peace. My hope was that God would reveal that “peace that surpasses all understanding” in some of the areas where I just didn’t have any. Where situations still remained a little chaotic, and there were still some weeds in my garden to tend to…some I wasn’t sure if they were even mine to “weed out.”
I wasn’t expecting this to be his first plea! I definitely wasn’t expecting it to show up again a few short weeks later.
So what does the rest of the passage say? How does God expect us to live in peace with everyone?
Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Romans 12:19-20, MSG
By doing. By loving. By buying my enemy lunch and a drink. Now, do I have to sit with them and eat? Not. Nothing says we have to be the best of friends. However, will there come a time this person needs to be shown compassion? Maybe. Who should they see? A bitter ole hag, still dragging around old baggage? Or a kind and loving Jesus?
Peace comes when we relinquish the need to harbor hate towards those who have plotted evil against us. When we can wish them well from “over there.” When we can move about our day, knowing that God will judge the integrity of those who lie and scheme. We don’t have to. It’s too much for us to bear.
We just have to do good. Even to those who hurt us. Even to those we don’t like.
Even to those who yes (human emotion, here)…we really do hope tumble for all the pain they have caused.
But, He will take care of that. We simply take care of doing good.
Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good. Romans 12:21