Do What is Right, Live at Peace—Romans 12:17-18
"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone" (Romans 12:17-18)
As Christians we should be above reproach according to the world's standards. We should live at peace with one another and conduct our lives aiming for what is noble, honest and proper. Even though we cannot be responsible for others behaviors; as far as it depends on us we can live at peace with everyone.
This is accomplished in our lives by the transformation that occurs when we renew our minds to the word of God. Paul started out this chapter of Romans by encouraging us to no longer be conformed or poured into the mold of the world, but rather to be transformed into a new creation by renewing our minds to this truth ( Romans 12:2 ). This is the key to all of Paul's instruction. When we align our thoughts and philosophies to what the Bible says, then we will see these things manifest in our lives.
Paul reminds us in today's passage that we are not to repay for the evil done to us being careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. This does not mean that we should seek to please mankind; rather it means that we should live righteously according to God's principals in plain view of everyone. We should be fair and honest in all of our dealings. We should be above reproach in the sight of our peers. This comes about by knowing God's principals and instructions. The more we understand God's grace toward us, the more likely we are to also extend grace when wronged. The more we internalize God's faithfulness, righteousness and truthfulness, the more these principals will be evident in our lives. This happens supernaturally by renewing our minds to the Word of God and letting the new creation that exists on the inside seep out and exist on the outside.
The Christians life was meant to be lived this way. By understanding and applying the Word of God and relying on the Holy Spirit as our guide in all things. By living by the Spirit are hearts are set on what He desires ( Romans 8:5 ), so the natural result will be living at peace with one another and shining like stars in this dark world. Today, I pray that you evaluate your heart to see where it aligns with this truth. Get into the Word and enjoy the amazing things you will find. May your life be above reproach in the sight of everyone, amen!