Christian Living Series: Romans 12:17-21
Beloved, Peace Biblically Speaking doesn’t mean the absence of conflict but rather wholeness. Jesus states that “ in this world you’ll have trials and tribulations but be of good cheer I have overcome the world.”
What He is saying Beloved is that even the conflicts trials and suffering that come upon us will not prevent us from having wholeness if we belong to and are established in Him.
Paul uses this foundation to build his instructions to this Roman Church. He builds on the premise of Jesus that conflict is inevitable but not only is conflict external but it is also internal and Beloved how we handle internal conflict is the standard for living in community and helps us to develop a witness in dealing with conflict from without.
So first he says , repay no man evil for evil. Here he is talking to this Roman Church regarding their internal dealings but his instructions is based upon Jesus admonition for dealing with all mankind. Getting even,holding grudges and doing in retaliation even though it seems justified is unchristian. Yes I said it Unchristian!!! Forgiveness not retribution, forgiveness is the foundation on which Christianity is built. If we are recipients of forgiveness then we are obligated to forgive. Forgiveness is an essential garment to be worn by those of us who live in Christian Community.
Next Paul suggests that we try our best to live peacefully with all men. Beloved know that is not always possible but as believers we can only conclude that it is not only when we have tried and put forth the effort to do so. The reasons that would prevent it would be evil practices that threaten our faith and even then we have to be careful of allowing our perceived Holy IIlusions from clouding reality.
Finally Paul reminds us that retribution and judgement belong to God Almighty. He is the Only Righteous Judge. So to make sure that we never usurp God’s authority we must consistently treat our brothers and sisters and even our enemies with the Christian and human dignity and grace match their supposed evil with good and kindness. Don’t habitually fosters thoughts and ways of how you are going to make others pay which in itself is demonic but learn to overcome evil with good. Beloved let’s learn to do our part and allow God to His. We will discover that “That He Will Fix Like He Said He Would.”