God said, “If it is possible, as much as lies within you, be at peace with everyone.” We should be very glad God did not just say live at peace with all men, because some people will refuse to live in peace making that an impossible thing to do. There are relationships and people who are hostile against one another and some people reject any offering of peace and want to stay at enmity with others. To be in a relationship means, we are associated or connected in some manner, be it emotionally or physically with someone but if a person refuses to be in a relationship with us and or refuses to be at peace with us, we cannot make them. What an impossible task that would be, to spend our lives trying to make someone stay in a relationship or be at peace with us when they do not want to be at peace. We cannot make them!
God knew we could learn to be at peace with God and ourselves and demonstrate that peace by how we walk through the process of forgiving and in doing what is right in His sight. That is why God said,” If it is possible, as much as it lies within you live at peace with everyone.” We are to do all we can to be at peace as much as it lies within us. We do not return evil for evil but we show love and forgiveness. Jesus is our example and guide us on how to be at peace and how we are to walk this out in our lives.
Romans 12:17-19 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. NKJV
We are told not to repay anyone evil for evil and to do what is right not just in thought but in our actions and deeds. When we have been wronged, we are not to follow our natural inclinations to do them wrong for the evil that was done or said against us. We are to instead show the love of God by forgiving them. Forgiveness is a choice and we choose not dwell continuously think on the evil that was done. We choose rather to think on the things that are good that is in God’s word and ask Him to give us the forgiveness we need for that situation.
We are to live at peace with everyone by making peace with the situation no matter how hard and hurtful it may have been. We have a choice; we can decide we will be at peace or we can choose to allow that hurt to fester and swell into bitterness and hate. This does not mean we have to engage them and allow them into our inner circle and personal space but it does mean we are to let go of the hurt and the hate we may feel and ask God for the forgiveness we need for the situation.
If we have committed an offense, we cannot make people forgive or accept us but we can ask for forgiveness if we have wronged someone. We can try to make restitution, to set the matter right if possible but the choice to accept is up to them. People may not receive our apology or forgive us and we must respect their choice. As much as it lies within us, we are to walk through this process in a manner that honors God and we may be at peace with the situation.
We are to forgive even if the person does not ask for forgiveness or deserve it. This does not mean we put ourselves in a position to be hurt or harmed but we can still forgive and let go of the bitterness even if we choose to be at a distance. We do this in obedience to God so we do not recompense evil for evil because we know God love us and He is a just Judge. Vengeance is God’s and He will repay all injustice and that is something we will never be able to do because we will never know what all that person has gone through to bring them to that point in life. It is not our job to make others pay for their wrongs that is God’s responsibility. God tells us to rest in Him and to overcome evil with good. He tells us to think on the things that are noble, lovely and of good report and for us to meditate on these things and not the hurt.
Philippians 4:8- Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things. KJV
Our life is about choices and we will choose to obey God’s direction or our own some may let self and pride dictate their lives but the choice is ours to make. We can choose to trust God and do what He asked of us and allow Him to defend us. We can choose to commit to doing the right thing even if it hurts. We can decide to show mercy to those who may never ask for it or in our eyes deserve it. It is a choice to walk humbly before God by obeying His word and trusting Him with our situations. To be humble is having strength under control. We all have a certain amount of authority and power to take matters into our own hands be it overtly or secretly. It is our choice to make that will allow us to take control over our words and our emotions so to honor our God in that situation. It is when we humble ourselves by controlling our anger and releasing that problem to God that we become a witness of the power of God in the earth. When we receive His forgiveness for us and them God is glorified in the earth. The natural man responds naturally with hate and bitterness but a follower of Christ responds like their Lord, King and Father.
Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, to love mercy, And to walk humbly, with your God? NKJV
Pride is a major stumbling block that will not allow us to forgive or seek forgiveness. Pride will seek its own revenge and becomes the obstacle that hinders our ability to forgive. God hates pride and it is only in humility that we can walk with God. Pride is what cause Satan to want to rise above God, pride was the bate he used in the garden telling Eve she could be like God. Pride will always want to rise above others and reject God’s word. It is the main reason some people will not forgive others they refuse to humble themselves in that situation even if it is the word of God. We should not allow pride to stand in the way of us making the decision to be at peace with all men and God will give us the grace to do it.
James 4: 6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” NKJV