“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Romans 12:17-18
When people hurt you or find ways to cause you distress there is a tendency to want to make them feel the way that you do. It is a natural human instinct to feel this way but Christians are challenged to do the opposite. It comes across as cowering but doing what Christ asks us to do demonstrates His power living in you. In fact showing the ability to love someone who is hurtful promotes peace and is living for Christ. Yes our human inclination is to return evil for evil but you are no longer living for yourself, you are now taking on a new life and a new character. To live at peace with everyone requires dying to ourselves every day but our flesh wants what it wants and it wants to retaliate. it is in dying to self that we are being transformed into a new existence, living for Christ.
Living for Christ doesn’t sound appealing and dying to live even less so. In fact it sounds like we are being asked to be doormats allowing people to walk all over us but that could not be further from the truth. And if you’ve never tried it God’s way you don’t know if the outcome would be favorable or not. Usually it is the fear of the unknown that prevents us from wanting to try anything new but it is in taking that first step that you can dispel your fear. Just hearing the word die sounds morbid and fearful however in dying to self we are dying to our physical inclinations as our soul partners with God and God does not leave us as empty shells. That is when we are able to more accurately hear from Him as we have laid our desires aside to seek His divine will.
I’d love to tell you that you won’t have tears, feel hurt, experience pain, occasional isolation, and possibly some rejection but the blessing is far greater. It is in Christ that we are awakened to a life worth living.