Working for peace and harmony

How we handle disagreements is a reflection of our obedience to the instruction of God.

How we handle disagreements is a reflection of our obedience to the instruction of God.

Romans 12:17-18 – “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”

This instruction from the apostle Paul comes in the context of a passage regarding living in harmony with others. We know that Yeshua taught us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44), and this teaching of Paul actually expands on that principle for refining our understanding.

Paul encourages us to think rationally about what the ramifications of our vengeful nature might be, and to “give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.” Sometimes, we may be confronted with an individual who continues to push and shove to get their way, and in certain cases our initial response to this may not be what is equitable in the sight of everyone. Paul urges believers to remove themselves from the moment, from the heat of the disagreement, and to step back and look at the situation from a larger, more comprehensive perspective. Doing so can sometimes give us the insight needed to appropriately handle our interaction with that pushy individual to where we don’t act reflexively, but thoughtfully and carefully in light of who we are in Messiah.

Paul adds that we should live peaceably with all, but only so far as it depends on us and how we act or react in a given situation. We can’t be responsible for how other people may react in our interactions with them. We can only work for peace as much as we can, and then leave the rest to God. They may not be receptive to our overtures of peace, and yet that is not a reason to withhold it in the first place. We must always strive for unity when we can, and step away from resistance when we are unable to bridge the conflict. Our goal is to live in peace with all, but some may just not be receptive to it.

Ultimately, as believers, we should be actively seeking ways to forgive and overcome disagreements, especially with brothers and sisters in Messiah. But even with those who are adversarial toward us, we should seek as much as possible to overcome their evil actions toward us with good actions toward them. Most times, if done sincerely from a perspective of overcoming conflict, these good actions will open the doors for peace, and allow fruitful relationships to grow.

If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive on our Podcast Page, at Core of the Bible on Simplecast, or your favorite podcast streaming service.

Now also on YouTube, find us at: Core of the Bible on YouTube.

Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: