God’s Word has a simple message that all of us as believers need to hear. Romans 12:18 states, If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. I know what you are thinking, “How can a person live in peace dealing with the crazy, hurtful, diabolical, aggressive, in your face, manipulative people who inhabit planet earth?!” Verses 19-21 tell how this is achieved, 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.” Key points in this passage are:
- Leave room for God’s wrath… “It is mine to avenge”
- I will repay says God. He assures you things will be taken care of. This may not be handled immediately but He will take care of the situation in “due time.” Offload relationships to God. This gives you the ability and freedom to continue to love.
- Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. I recognize that this can be incredibly difficult; however, God wants you to be light in the midst of darkness. Relationships are the vehicle that God uses to display light.
Leviticus 19:18 tells us to not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. What we do even as believers is seek pay back. That seems to be fair in the law of man but nothing close to the grace and mercy of the Lord. During the time you seek revenge, get revenge and the aftermath, you are walking in the flesh out of fellowship with God. Please stop quarreling!
James 4 gives a blunt view of many of your relationships whether at home, extended family, former spouses, work or elsewhere, 1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. Christ’s agape love is expressed by the way you handle relationships. How are you doing?
Christians should be assertive. Ephesians 5:16 states for us “to speak the truth in love.” Assertive expressions never begin with you neveror you alwayswhich are attacking, judgmental, and condescending. Begin sentences with “I.” I feel, I think, I want, I need statements deal with the issue in non-combative ways. If the other person wants to quarrel or argue and tempers begin to rise, you will not have an edifying conversation. Do not get drawn into a me vs. you quarrel.
I finish with these verses:
- As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife (Proverbs 26:21).
- And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful (2 Timothy 2:24).