Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 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. – Romans 12: 14, 17-18
Opposition is all around us and attacks from nearly any direction. There are those who seem to make it their goal to make life miserable. Some may even intend to harm us or those we love.
Our natural reaction is to defend ourselves or strike back, but first Jesus and then Paul tell us to love our enemies. Instead of lashing out in anger we are to feel compassion for them when they are in pain. We are to forgive them when they sin against us. Maybe the most difficult thing to do is to rejoice with them when they rejoice (Romans 12:15).
In the passage above, we are told to never repay evil for evil. Revenge is not an option. We are to do our part to live peacefully with those around us. Why? We usurp God’s authority and generally make a mess of things on our own.
To the contrary, we are to feed our enemies if they are hungry. We are to give him a drink if he is thirsty. How easy is all of this for you?
In order to live and experience this kind of real love described by Paul, a supernatural work must begin inside of me and end on the outside of my life through my actions. This truth continually refers me back to the beginning of this chapter as Paul commands us to surrender our lives every day.
Who has offended you? Is there anyone you would like to repay with just a “little” evil?