Romans 12:18 says,

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

By implication, this verse is telling us that it is not possible to live peaceably with some people because they refuse to make peace.  They take the posture of being an enemy, being an antagonist, and they refuse to shift from that position no matter what you do.

But as much as it depends on you, you must pursue the things that make for peace.  You need to pray, you need to communicate, and if God leads you, you need to give a gift.  And certainly with your actions, you need to express the fact that you want peace.

Sometimes somebody may not yield.  They may not yield to the influence of God’s Spirit; they may not yield to your endeavors.  But once you have done all you can do, all you can do has been done.

Does that give you a license to be rude to them or to treat them unpleasantly?  No.  The next few verses address that.  Look at Romans 12:19-21,

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.  Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Continue to extend the olive branch.  If they never respond, at least you will have a clean conscience.  God will deal with the things that you cannot deal with.  Do not take matters into your own hands.  “Vengeance is Mine,” says the Lord. 



  1. Well said…
    Perhaps I am a bad judge, however, because I would rather (and try my best to) continue to intercede in prayer for enemies (as well as repenting for allowing my flesh to grant the spirit of anger to get into me to start with). That doesnt mean that I continually subject myself to the actions of that person though.
    The (my) bottom line is whether the situation is/can be resolved or not, I do not want any person – friend or foe- to have “coals of fire heaped on their head.” I would gladly, and much rather give them food or water (per se) as an act of kindness – in the respects of “giving to the least of these” (the poor in spirit, in this case). As I take scripture in a very literal way, there is such severity in that verse -Rom 12:20- that if I can help it, I will try to prevent anyone from having to be judged to suffer like that. Any person who is suffering grieves my spirit, and eternal suffering surely is the worst of all kinds.
    In doing this, I have learned that if you pray for someone often enough, even if you dont like that persons ‘actions’, you will grow to love that ‘person’… as love covers a multitude of sins! (again- that still doesnt mean you shouldnt distance yourself from them). Often times in doing so, Im also reminded of (Eph 6:12) “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”. Therefore, such being true, that tells us that its not the person we should be angry with to begin with, but the spiritual authority thats controlling that person, which is only more proof that the person needs prayer more than anything.

    (Sorry! I didnt mean to “get on a soap box”, nor in any way to contradict your post – just replying by how that verse effects me, personally. If this is found offensive, youre more than welcome to delete it.)

    May God, our Father, continually bless you and yours…

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