Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. - Hebrews 12:14
Understanding these verses has adjusted the way I relate to people. He’s using them to make me more gentle in the way I share His truth. If I’m wrong in the way that I’m right, I’m wrong even if I’m right. If sharing His truth with someone damages the relationship, I have failed at the relationship. God calls us to share His truth in love, so every word I speak, every action I take, should demonstrate His love to the people I encounter and work toward peace.
Is it possible to be at peace with everyone in my life? There are definitely those challenging people or situations that can cause us to make exceptions to the rule. We want to be able to justify why we can’t strive for peace in certain situations, but until we have done everything in our power to make peace, we’re not abiding in His Word. There are many situations where we need to humble ourselves, and own our part of the conflict - that can be so challenging when the original sin causing the conflict originated with the other person. When we have been sinned against, it is really our responsibility to work toward peace?
See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good - this is God's will for our lives. But it's definitely not what our flesh wants to do. Our flesh is ruled by our emotions and so often, it's hard to get past the anger or the hurt of damaged relationships to seek another person's good - especially when there is continued, relational hurt.
I've learned that we can only do this when we rely on God's strength. This can be most difficult to live out in the heat of the moment when hurtful words start to fly. Our defenses go up, we want to protect and we want attack.
If we are going to rely on God in moments like these, then we must be in His Word daily, it must be stored in our hearts to rise up over the powerful emotions in the moment. And His Word needs to live in our hearts to battle the stream of thoughts that come after an emotional encounter as our flesh works to justify our actions. For God to protect my heart in moments like these, I must remember the bigger picture - His greatest priority is to see all people come to know Him as their Lord and Savior, even those people who may have hurt me with their words or actions. And since the people who hurt us are generally the same people who we're praying for salvation, how we respond in the moment can have a huge impact. I want them to see Christ reflected in me.
Strive for peace with everyone. If we seek His will, He will not let us repay evil with evil. His will for us is not to give back to people what they deserve, but to do good to everyone - even the ones that hurt us the most.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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