Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 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. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
The quiet voice is not the one that draws the applause of a crowd. The one who prevents war does not gain the accolades of the one who conquers. The crucified person is not the one that gets the glory of association with people in high places.
The call of humility is not an attractive one, nor a natural one. And yet, this call is repeatedly what is placed upon us by God. This God, who came in the flesh and embodied this through becoming human and enduring a criminal’s death. He who did not fight back, but forgave His enemy as He was spat at and mocked and gasped for air.
He, who overcame all evil with all His divine goodness.
In an era where all can have a platform to indulge the flesh’s call to haughtiness, demonic self-wisdom (James 3:13-15), repay evil for evil (the opposite of love according to 1 Corinthians 13:5), be honorable in the sight of our faction and consider the other factions worthy of gloating over, and seek debate, we must approach this passage and call from Christ with fresh eyes.
We must be vigilant as our flesh draws us toward foolishness for the goal of applause, conquering, and desirable alliances, calling on the One who brought us through His death, if we follow Him, into a new life of radical peace through self-sacrifice. If the Spirit lives in us, we must call on Him to sanctify our desires and open our eyes to how this word from God is intended for us.
Christian, if you are living and growing in Christ, you must (and by God’s grace, will) come to set your face strongly in opposition to the world – not through how you wage war on the world, but by how you go to war against your love bent towards self-glory, through cherishing unity with the body and service to the world.
In a world where the norm is to wage war with one another, the kingdom Christ is established through war against self with the goal of peace.