“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison,” Matthew 5:25.
If you live on this planet long enough, you will have a disagreement with someone. This is an inevitable part of life. Sometimes you’re the one at fault. Sometimes the other person is at fault. Yet scripture provides a guideline for disagreements.
If you are at fault, then you are responsible to apologize and make amends. Whether it’s been twenty minutes or twenty years.
However, know this, it takes two people to reconcile. Romans 12:18 tells you, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” You are to live at peace with everyone. That is the goal, but there are two qualifying clauses before that statement.
If It Is Possible
First, if it is possible recognizes it’s not always possible to get along with everyone. This is a fallen world, and due to that fact, it is not possible to live at peace with everyone. I’ve experienced that in my own life and it’s tough at times to accept. I’m sure you have your own examples to share.
As Far As It Depends On You
There are two ways to check if this disagreement depends on you.
First, check your own heart and mind for those attitudes and thoughts that are not in accordance with God’s will or the Holy Spirit. Ask yourself: Do your words build bridges or walls? Do you seek to find common ground or not?
Secondly, if you try to make peace and they don’t want to talk to you, let it go. You are not responsible for their reaction to your apology or attempt at restitution and reconciliation. You can hope they will be reasonable and react with kindness, but you only have control over yourself and what you do. God calls you to do what is right and if you do that, you have obeyed God. Then let it rest and God will deal with the other person’s heart.
How can you live peaceably with all? If someone you disagree with has a need you know about, meet that need to care for them and love them. Don’t get them back, but instead help them out, love them and pray for them.
In summary, when you have a disagreement with someone, try to work it out, but know it may not always be possible. When it’s not, do your part to obey God and let the rest go.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good,” Romans 12:21.
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