I have a joke I make sometimes about how I want folks to see me. I never want someone to see me walking down the aisle at Walmart and think to themselves, oh no, there he is! And turn and walk the other way!
I never want to be that guy! I always want to, in my life, build community, make folks feel better, help folks experience grace.
I want to live in peace with others. And that can be hard. That can be a challenge. It’s not always easy to live in peace with each other. Sometimes it’s not even easy to be a peace with yourself.
But, as Christians, that’s part of our calling. To live in peace. To make things better. To be salt and light. To make a difference.
Listen to what Paul says today in Romans 12:17-19:
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
Repay no one with evil. Don’t respond to evil with evil. Our first response will be to respond back. Hit back. Hurt back. That’s what we want to do. That’s what comes natural. That’s what we feel like we should do.
Don’t do it. Respond with grace. Respond with love. Respond with peace.
Why? Because that’s where life is found. In not responding back with evil.
Well, Andy, what if I extend peace, and they bite my hand off? That’s why Paul says, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all.
You can’t control them. The only person you have any response over is yourself. You can’t control what they do, what they say, what they do.
You can only control the grace you give. So, give grace.
Even when it’s hard. Even when it may hurt. Give grace. Live in peace. Be different. Be salt and light.
We can’t do this through ourselves. Only through Him.
Today, do it, through Him. Live in peace. Through Him. And in that, you’ll find more life than you think possible.
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