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Peace with One Another - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
October 16, 2021 12:00 am

Peace with One Another - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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October 16, 2021 12:00 am

There is hope for believers to live peaceably—even with those who have wronged you.

Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey
A New Beginning
Greg Laurie

Welcome to this weekend's In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley. When you get hurt, the urge to become resentful and to lash back can be strong. Today you'll learn how you can live in a spirit of forgiveness. Here's part two of Peace with One Another. We're to accept one another. We are to serve one another. We're to comfort one another. We're to help one another. We're to pray for one another. So many times God says this is the way you should treat one another. And yet most of us would have to admit that a lot of people we know, most people we know, don't work in those kind of situations, don't live in those kind of homes, don't go to school in those kind of environments. And we wonder what in the world is wrong.

Why? Why can't we live with each other? Why can't we be at peace with one another? Why can't we be at peace with one another? Why can't we be at peace with one another? But if your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he's thirsty, give him a drink.

For in so doing, you will heat burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Now it's very interesting in the Scriptures that God gives us very clear instructions how we treat each other. And I want you to notice primarily this eighteenth verse when He says, If possible, so far as it depends upon you, be at peace with all men. The implication is that it may not always be possible. The implication is you may not be able to do it.

So far as it depends on you. That is, we have a responsibility. So here's the question.

Now watch this. You listen and say, Amen. How far? So far as it depends on you to say, OK, well now how far am I to go? You say, well the Bible doesn't tell me how far I am to go.

Yes, it does. Here's how far you're not to go. We're to go as far as possible within the strength and the grace and the goodness and the love that God gives us to the point of the violation of a spiritual, scriptural principle. When it requires me to violate a principle of Scripture, forget the peace. God does not require us to violate a principle of Scripture because every single one of them is holy. He does not require us to violate a principle of Scripture in order to have peace with someone.

So when He says, if possible, most of the time it ought to be possible, sometime it's not. So far as it depends on you, how far am I to go? I'm to go the second, third, fourth, tenth, hundredth mile up to the point where it means I have to violate the Word of God. I am not required to violate the Word of God in order to create peace. Now, what I want to do is help you to understand what happens to a person who tries to practice peace at any price. So listen carefully. When a person has the idea that it's going to be peace at any price, that means that no matter what it takes, here's what I'm going to do. They must be willing to sacrifice their own sense of personhood because what they have to do is to begin to suppress their honest, genuine feelings. And they suppress them and they repress them and they suppress them and they repress them. And what happens?

They talk quietly. Well, everything is just fantastic. Thank you very much. Oh, everything is good. Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. On the inside this volcano is boiling and there becomes resentment and anger and hurt and pain and sense of self-esteem dragging now. They just cover all of this resentment and hostility and anger. They cover that with these sweet words. And it's a very thin covering.

It's so thin that sooner or later that volcano is not just going to rumble. It's absolutely going to pour fire and brimstone all over the place. Then you know what happens? Most of the time when that happens. People say things that are so cutting, so divisive, so hurtful, so tormenting, so painful, so penetrating, so destructive. That that relationship is destroyed once and for all.

Either one of those persons becomes so hurt or both of them, they say, this is it. This is the end of it. Forget it. You know what he said?

He said, if possible. And you see, this is why the idea of peace in the price is totally unscriptural. It's unscriptural for nations and it's unscriptural also for individuals because peace in the price is self-destructive. And that self-destruction begins the moment the person decides, I'm not going to say anything. I'm just going to keep quiet. I'm not going to do anything. I'm just going to be quiet. I'm not going to say anything.

You know what? God didn't make it that way. He made us to talk. He made us to be honest with each other.

He made us to be open. And you see, you see, you can't have peace. That's a fake peace. It's a false peace. There's no such thing as peace when somebody can't express themselves. And what happens is a person thinks we have peace between us until the air is clear. There is no peace.

Until a person can feel free to express their hurt, their pain, their disappointments, their heartaches. There is no peace. And our Lord came to live on the inside of us so that we who will naturally have disagreements with each other, disappointments with each other, we'll be hurt at times.

So what? We forgive. We move on. We can still have peace.

You know why? Because we have looked at this relationship and we have placed such a high value on it, we're willing to do anything under God's heaven to the point of the violation of the Word of God to make it work. And so we have to go back to ask how much value do I place in relationships? So let me ask you as a parent, how valuable is your relationship with your son or your daughter?

How valuable is it? What are you willing to do? How far are you willing to go? How valuable is your relationship with your husband?

How valuable is your relationship to your wife? Did you want to do anything and everything you know to do? Then if it doesn't work, at least you've done your best. At least you've given your all. At least as best you know your heart. Listen to what he said.

He says, as far as it depends on you, as far as you can go without violating the Word of God, he says, be at peace with that other person. You say, well, suppose I have done my best and suppose I have given my best and suppose I have done everything I know to do. Well, let me remind you of one other thing he says. He says, now watch this. And then you conclude it's not working. And you look back and you see your hurts and your pain, your suffering. And maybe you look back at whether it's six months or a year, ten years or twenty years or four.

It doesn't make any difference what it is. You say, you know what? I've wasted my life for this person. No, you haven't. I should have done this.

I should have done that. Listen to what he says. Twice, verse seventeen now in Romans twelve. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.

Respect what is right in the sight of all men. Verse nineteen. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God. For it is written, vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, thirsty, give him a drink.

And so doing you'll heap burning coals on his head. Now, here's what he's saying. Let's say you've done your best. You've done everything you know to do. You may not have done it perfect, but you did the best you knew how.

It's not working. The other person says, forget it. How responsible are you? You're not responsible when you've done your best and all you know to do. And the other person refuses to cooperate. You can't make somebody be.

This is why he says, if possible, as far as it depends upon you. So now what's this heaping coals of fire on people's heads? Well, I think most people have the ideal. What I'm going to do is I'm going to do something nice. And I mean, that's going to fix them for good.

You know what? That's not what that means. Turn back to Proverbs. Proverbs twenty five, verse twenty one. If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat.

If he is thirsty, give him water to drink. For you will heap burning coals on his head. Now, you know what that means?

Here's what that means. That when we are wronged by someone else, our response is to be kindness. It may be tough.

Listen, I understand it can be tough. Kindness, gentleness, humility. And it may be that you do something for them physically or materially, whatever it might be.

Now, when he says it's heaping, burning coals of fire is what he means. That in our kindness towards someone else, it creates anguish within them. They can't handle that.

They don't know how to handle that. They just know that you should have responded the way they would have responded. You wronged me, I wronged you.

I for nigh tooth for tooth. You did this to me, I do this to you. I do this to you and you're kind toward me and loving and caring.

And you're not resentful and hostile angry and you don't blast me. Here's what happens. It creates anguish. It creates frustration.

They don't know how to handle kindness and love and gentleness. But he says that's the way we're to operate. That's where we respond. Never, he says twice, never can we say that we have a right to pay back evil with evil or to express revenge. And he says in verse twenty-one, do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Now here's the, watch this. If you and I retaliate, what we do is we position ourselves on the same level with the person who wronged us. We don't have a right to do that. He says if it's at all possible and as far as he said, as far as it depends upon you, how far is that? To the point that you have to violate the Word of God and we're not responsible to do that. Now, so let's say that you come to one of those situations and it looks like it's impossible. You've done your best, you've done your all and you say, God, I don't know what to do. Then here's what you do. Listen carefully.

You ask God to show you what to do. Now listen carefully. Don't go running off to your friends to ask them that.

Let me tell you what's going on. What do you think I ought to do? Well, your friends are going to say, well, here's what I think you ought to do. They've only heard your side of the story, number one. And secondly, they may be so kindly minded themselves. They may have been in the same situation and they may have made the wrong choices.

You know what? They feel better you making the same choice they made. Don't go to your friends. Go to a wise, godly counselor. If you go into someone, you ask the Lord first to show you what to do and he'll show you exactly what to do. At least most of the times I think it'll be clear. But if you want a confirmation, you find a godly counselor and you be sure, listen, you make sure that what they tell you is consistent with the living Word of God. Then your conscience can be clear. Then you can move on in life and do whatever God's called you to do in life.

But your conscience has got to be clear. You've done your best. You've done your all. You're seeking godly guidance and you have the right attitude. Now what's the right attitude?

Four things I want you to jot down. I will only do that in the right spirit if I have the proper attitude. And what is a proper attitude? A pure heart. Mark chapter nine, verse fifty says, Salt is good, but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, he says, and be at peace with one another. The ancients in those days believed that salt was the purest thing they had. And it came from the purest thing they knew. And that is, the sun and the sea, they believed were the purest things that had existed.

And that salt was a result of that. So what is Jesus saying here? He's saying, have salt, that is, have a purifying influence within you. That is the Spirit of Christ. What is the Spirit of Christ? Forgiveness, love, understanding. So first of all, our spirit must be the spirit of purity. I want the life of Christ to dictate what I feel. Secondly, is love.

What did He say? John fourteen, thirty-four, thirty-five. He says, I've given you the gift of love, the spirit of love. The spirit of love is to control your life.

This is how the world will know that we're His disciples. So I have to love that person. Now watch this, you're saying, let me tell you something, buddy. You don't know how I've been treated. You don't know how people, you mean to tell me I'm to love the other person? Yes. Can you do it without being a Christian?

I doubt it. Well, how can I love somebody who's mistreated me so long? By the grace of God. So first of all, there must be a pure heart.

Love and thirdly, patience. And I want you to look in Colossians chapter three for a moment because I'm only mentioning patience, but patience happens to be in this passage a part of the Christian graces. And notice, if you will, what else is mentioned here right around, how it's surrounded with these other ideas and thoughts. Listen, if you will, in the twelfth verse of Colossians chapter three. So as those who've been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience bearing with one another.

That is, you're willing to acknowledge, here's what's going on. So my spirit must be a pure spirit of love and patience, and certainly number four is forgiveness. What does he say in Ephesians and also in, there are lots of verses about forgiveness in the Bible, but he says in that fourth chapter in the thirty-first, thirty-second verses, he said, Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you.

Now listen to this. We may be mistreated and somebody may not want to have peace and live with us, whatever it might be, but you and I can never, never justify an unforgiving spirit. I may not be able to live with a person or have business relations with that person. I may not be able to be a friend to that person because they have chosen otherwise. But if my heart is right and I can't love that person beyond what they do, and I can be patient with them, and I can be forgiving because when I look at my life and you look at your life, look what Jesus has forgiven you for.

When he went to the cross, he made it possible for us to be forgiven of anything and everything. How can I hold an unforgiving spirit towards someone when Jesus doesn't hold that against me when my life has been oftentimes an act of disobedience toward God? I may not like the person. I may not ever associate with them again. I may have no business dealings with them. I may not ever be able to be their friend because of their actions toward me, but you know what?

Watch this. If I want peace within myself, I have to be sure I have peace with that person. They don't have to have peace toward me.

You see, I must be forgiving, patient, and loving with a pure heart. And then if the person walks away, I'm not responsible. Choose not to be my friend, not responsible. Choose not to work with me, I'm not responsible. What did I do? I went so far that I did everything in my human godly power and ability and gifts and knowledge and understanding to the point of violating the Scripture.

That's as far as I could go. Some of you are living in that kind of a situation, circumstance. Some of you are working with people who don't like you, and they're sort of after you, and you're trying to figure out how am I to live in this situation, how am I to work in this office or this kind of a circumstance. If you will practice, not in your own strength it's not going to work, by the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within you, these simple principles, God will make you the victor. He will give you power to overcome in the process of the pain.

He will grow you and mature you and bless you in ways you never dreamed of. It is a choice you make. If you value that relationship, give it all you have.

If you've done that and it hasn't worked, you're not responsible. You're responsible for the attitude of love and patience and purity and kindness and forgiveness and moving on in your life. Thank you for listening to Part 2 of Peace with One Another. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-06 05:03:00 / 2023-08-06 05:10:41 / 8

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