There are few more things I want to comment on from Romans 12:9-21, this last Sunday's epistle reading. Then I will let it go and move on. I was reading Psalm 90 today and felt like there was much to be said from it but I need to finish these thoughts before moving on to something else.
"If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all." (Romans 12:18) I am not sure that we adhere to this in our lives. Just the opposite is true. If we think we have been wronged or we don't like someone or we just don't want to get along with someone, we don't. We figure it is there problem if they don't like it. Wrong! It is our problem.
We are told as much as it is possible, live at peace with one another. You cannot change how a person thinks or acts. That isn't your job. Nor is it your job to sit around and wait for the other person to change to try to live at peace with one another. The fact is, you are to do everything in your power, to live at peace with those around you. You are not to hold onto to grudges. You are not to say, "I don't like that person, therefore I am going to make life tough for him." I heard the other day that someone said the church is the place where we go to get along with those people that we don't like. When that was quoted to a church member, the response was, "If I don't like them, I won't have anything to do with them. I won't talk to them. Etc." What? How is that a Christian attitude? In as much as in your lies, as much as it is in your power, live peaceably with others.
But I don't want to! I don't want to be kind and compassionate to the person that I don't like. I shouldn't have to! After all, I don't like them and I have my reasons. But are they really valid reasons/ Or are they selfish, sinful reasons that you hold onto and keep in front of you so that you don't have to get along with at person?
Putting it another way, are you really that good of a person that people would want to get along with you? Or are you one of those people that others avoid because of your attitude and actions? In as much as in you lies - change yourself! That's right, you are the problem, not them. Your attitude is the one that makes you the person that you are - not theirs. You chose to act the way you act. You chose to be the person you are. You don't have to be angry or bitter or mean or nasty or self-centered. That is not the way that Christ would have you live. Did you ever see that in His life? Of course not. Why not? Because it is sinful.
As much as in you lies - live peaceably with others. That means that today, you begin to pray to the Spirit to change your heart and mind. It means that you begin to let the life of Christ guide you instead of the life of sin. Is it easy? Of course not. There is no way to do that by yourself. And even as the Spirit is transforming you and your mind, you will fight it. Your sinful nature will not want you to change.
That, my blog reading friends, is the challenge of living the life of a Christian.