Paybacks & Peacemaking

Romans 12:17-18 NET - Do not repay anyone evil for evil; consider what is good before all people. 12:18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people.

Have you ever witnessed an ugly quarrel - at work, at school, at a family gathering, or in some other setting?  Who to people respect more, one who escalates the fight or the one who is a calming influence?   The loudest and most insulting, or the one who focuses attention on good things?  The most critical and sarcastic, or the one most willing to be wronged rather than fight dirty?  People may be intimidated by bluster, but they respect self-control.  How might you apply the following Proverb? 

Proverbs 19:11 NLT - Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs. 

This doesn’t mean Christians must be doormats for others (including fellow Christians) to just walk all over since that was not the example of Jesus, yet He did give us an amazing example:   

Isaiah 53:7 NLT - He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.  And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. 

Do you tend to treat others badly in response to their mistreatment of you?  Are you the type that doesn’t just get mad but also “gets even”?  Consider what Peter said along similar lines.   

1 Peter 3:8-12 NIV - Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. 11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

From what situations do you need to repent of giving payback instead of making peace?  Or, with whom do you need to make peace (even if they refuse)?  “As much as depends on you” means that some people simply will not live right, yet you are called and empowered to do so.

Matthew 5:9 NET - “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.