July 17, 2018
READ: Romans 12:9-21
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone (v.18).
The Smiths (not their real name) and I hadn’t talked for years. The last time we interacted there was much frustration and anger on both sides. Mr. Smith called once or twice, but I wasn’t ready to reconcile. But as God began to mend my wounded heart, I had peace about working on the relationship. Healing came when I went on a prayer retreat during which I talked to Jesus, read the Scriptures and worshipped through songs. On the last day, I decided that if the Smiths called, I would agree to meet with them.
God created humans with a desire for relationships in which they will be loved, appreciated and valued. But, because of sin, misunderstandings and wrong choices, sometimes relationships are broken.
The apostle Paul taught the believers in Rome a way of life that was contrary to what the world taught. He urged them, “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them” (Romans 12:9). He encouraged them to show mercy and hospitality to everyone—believers and non-believers alike.
But what should we do when others mistreat us and even seek to do evil? Or when we encounter difficulties in relationships with family members, friends or co-workers? Paul said to “never pay back evil with more evil” and to “do all that you can to live in peace with everyone” (vv.17-18). He realised it might not always be possible to achieve reconciliation, at least not quickly, but he encouraged the Roman believers to “be patient in trouble, and keep on praying” (v.12).
May we be in tune with the guidance of the Spirit as we navigate our relationships, especially those that are broken and difficult to handle. Let’s “rejoice in our confident hope”, knowing our Father hears our plea for peace (v.12).
—Estera Pirosca Escobar
365-day plan: Matthew 14:13-36
Read Colossians 3:1-17and consider the practical wisdom Paul provides for how to make your relationships healthier.
What broken relationships are you dealing with? How might the light and love of Jesus transform the brokenness?