“When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.” -Proverbs 16:7 (NIV)
It can be exasperating dealing with particularly difficult people. In our eyes, it seems that they are bent on not giving us a moment’s peace; deliberately trying to cause conflict in order to sabotage the already tense relationship we share with them and arouse our ire. The worst thing we could do however is to allow our rage to take reign over our thoughts and actions. Not only will we serve to be contributors to disunity and strife, but it will blemish our witness for Christ. We must always be aware of the fact that in our actions and reactions, we bear witness to Christ living within us. True peace will not flourish if we have permitted sin to taint our anger and indignation.
How then are we to live in peace with those around us? Dwelling in harmony with those whom we consider our enemies seems like an impossibility that will never be realized. But when we listen to Christ’s Spirit living within us, allowing Him to help us live in a manner that is fitting of one who is His child, He will guide our thoughts and actions in such a way as to display His love and righteousness through us. If we try to create peace by attempting to live according to Christ’s example and His teachings through our own efforts and strength, we will fail. His standard on how His children should act in love and forgiveness is too lofty for us to attain because our flawed human nature dictates that if our enemy takes out our eye, we should take out not only his eye but his leg too! Only when we allow Christ to enter into our hearts and break sin’s hold over our lives will we be able to live as children of Christ through His enabling. People may be relentless in their antagonism towards us. But when we choose to remain in Christ, allowing Him to purge us of any malicious attitudes we may have and guide our thoughts, words, and actions, our adversaries will not be able to remain justified in their anger. When they see Christ’s love and grace overflowing from our lives, they will slowly see that no weapon of theirs can overcome the goodness that is Christ our Lord. They will be drawn to the restorative work that He is doing in our lives, and can do for them as well if they choose to seek after Him.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.